Trust in the Lord – Staff Spotlight on Michelle McSwain

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

    and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him,

    and he will make your paths straight

–           Proverbs 3:5-6.

This verse is one that Michelle McSwain holds near, as it tells her story of how the Lord led her to where she is today as the Assistant Director of Online Enrollment for Emmanuel Online.

Michelle enrolled in college for the first time in her 40s. After finishing her Advanced EMT, and working in the Emergency Room for a few years, she completed a degree in Social Work from Athens Tech. She went on to finish her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Piedmont University and continued to obtain her MBA.

“When I think back on everything I had to do to complete my degree, I call it divine intervention,” Michelle said. “When I was going to school and working in the ER, I would work from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in Monroe, drive an hour to campus, where I would take a quick nap in my car before a 10 a.m. class, and was successfully able to balance the workload.”

Michelle’s path may not look like some, but she knows that the Lord directed her steps along the way. 

After graduating from Piedmont, Michelle took a role with the university as their Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, where she encouraged students to stay the course. 

“Because of my background, I worked with online students who were coming back to college, testing the waters and seeing what’s available to them,” she said. “Those are my favorite kind of students and I loved being able to encourage them to work through it.”

In her new role at Emmanuel, Michelle hopes her testimony will encourage students that it can be done. 

“As you make decisions to make changes in your life, education opens so many doors,” Michelle said. “You have to want it and work for it. You can count on obstacles being in your way but if you lean into the Lord and trust him, he’ll show you the way.”

That is exactly what happened when He led her to Emmanuel. 

“Truly, it was undeniable,” she said. “I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I wasn’t looking for a job at the time, but here it is, here I am, and it’s where I’m supposed to be. He called and I answered.”

What makes Emmanuel Online unique?

“Students at Emmanuel, both traditional and online, have the opportunity to get closer to God,” she said. “They have access to the on-campus facilities and a quality education with the convenience of being fully online.”

As she enters a new season, Proverbs 3:5-6 is a verse Michelle will hold near as a reminder of what she’s accomplished and her encouragement for others.

“I’ve experienced a lot of change in my life due to big decisions I’ve had to make,” she said. “But, through it, I’ve learned to be brave, and trust in the Lord. When you do that, you’ll go to amazing places.”