By: Major Margaret Kennell
My first art lesson was in Kindergarten. I was five years old. My teacher held up in front of the class the first painting I ever made and simply said to the class, “What’s wrong with this picture?” I was mortified! I thought I had made a beautiful picture and she proceeded to tell the class that I hadn’t used the whole page. The next picture I painted, I covered the whole page!
Ever since I can remember I would draw, color, paint or make something to express myself. God, in His infinite wisdom, made a way for me to attend college and all I had to do was buy my books and art supplies! I thought I had figured out what God wanted me to do with my life and it had something to do with this talent He gave me.
I attended the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and was introduced to different careers available for applied arts. Graphic arts, illustration, layout and advertising just didn’t appeal to me. I decided to focus on a career as an art teacher. I took all the basic required courses: psychology, human growth and development, art history and a teaching techniques class.
I was required to observe a public school class in session. My advisor sent me to an eighth grade English class. My eyes were opened! These students were so rude and disruptive and didn’t listen to their teacher. I felt so sorry for her but I realized that day that I could never be an art teacher…or any teacher…at any school at any time!
At the age of seven, I gave my heart to Jesus during a Junior Soldier day of renewal. I grew up attending The Salvation Army church with my mom, dad, sister and two brothers. I attended camps, Youth Councils and Rallies throughout my youth and learned to trust in God and follow His leading. He gave me my life verse, John 14:27.
One night, my last year of college, I began to earnestly pray and wrestle with God about His plans for my life. I couldn’t sleep. I was sitting up in my bed, praying, crying and pleading with God for an answer. Finally, I heard God speak to me three very distinct words: “It’s your turn.” I had such a peace come over me and fell asleep almost immediately.
Next morning it occurred to me that God never really told me what He wanted me to do. “It’s your turn.” What did that mean? Most of my friends in the Division were planning to go to Training. I told my Corps Officer, “I think God wants me to be an officer.” Paperwork; interviews; testing; book reports all happened quickly! I was in Training by September. Not one of my friends from the division came with me! I was commissioned in 1977 as a “Companion of Christ!” Guess what? Something I enjoy doing is TEACHING others about Jesus!