Marie Waller wants everyone to know that it’s never too late to follow your dream. She says, “Just give it a try, and God will help you.”
And, she adds, “God wants us out of our comfort zone, because that’s when he does his greatest work.”
She has practiced her philosophy by taking a leap of faith, recording a CD, “Stepping Out of the Boat.” Waller says that Bible study has had a huge impact on her, and this CD gives her a way to share how it has changed her life.
“In Matthew, Peter stepped out of a boat in the middle of a storm to get to Jesus,” says Waller. “Often times, God asks us to do things while we’re in the middle of a storm. When we are at our lowest, our weakest, without hope, that is when he shines the brightest.”
And Waller will have her opportunity to shine in two upcoming performances:
This Sunday at 6 p.m., Waller will present a concert at the church where she is a choir member and Sunday school teacher, Community Baptist Church,18 CarolinaSt. in Salisbury.
And on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 5 p.m., she will be sharing her songs and message in the Dan Nicholas Park Ampitheater. The park islocated at 6800Bringle Ferry Road.
Waller feels her life has been blessed. She has been married to her “best friend and soul mate,” Alan, for 24 years. They have a son, Chris, who is 22, and the three of them are very close.
She works full time for the V.A. Medical Center, but singing has always been her passion.
As a child, she remembers giving “concerts” to the neighborhood children and charging admission, “like a nickel or something.” She would sing, her brother and cousin would dance, then they would go up to the little store on the corner and buy candy.
Waller listened to her mother and her mother’s sisters sing, wishing she could be as good as they were. And she would always be asked to sing by her grandmother, Inez Hill, when she spent nights with her. Hill would play a tape of her granddaughter singing for anyone who would listen.
Waller says her biggest regret is that her grandmother did not live long enough to see her record the CD. She wishes she had taken her leap of faith sooner.
Waller says that even though she always attended church, she never really gave God her life, and only did things for him when it felt comfortable and safe.
But then she found herself alone for the first time in her life. Her son had gone to school in Colorado and her husband was overseas on his second deployment with the Navy Reserves. She wanted to stay busy, so when her church offered a women’s Bible study on “water walking,” she signed up.
According to Waller, “The study revolved around the account of Peter on that stormy night when he climbed out of a boat and walked on water to get to Jesus. (Matthew 14:25-33) I’ll never forget the questions we were asked after reading the scripture: “Was Peter a failure? What about the other disciples? They didn’t even try!”
I felt so ashamed. I hadn’t really been trying either. But I learned an important lesson. God doesn’t want us to stay in our comfort zone, in our little circle of safety. He wants us to put him to the test; to challenge him by challenging ourselves.”
She gives God all the credit for the doors that have opened, such as the opportunity for her to sing at the IHRA Spring Nationals and World Finals in Rockingham at the church services provided by Godspeed Ministries, and the recording of the CD.
Marie Waller issues this invitation: “Won’t you trust in God and step out of your boat, too?Come on in, the water’s fine!”
You can listen to Marie Waller and read about her at www.myspace. com/marie _waller.
CDs are available at her performances. They may also be purchased at Country Christian Books and Gifts located at 409D S. Salisbury Ave. in Granite Quarry or at Salisbury Flower Shop in the Ketner Center.