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From Survivor to Counseling Practice Owner

One would run out of fingers counting the number of times the enemy tried to stop Meichell from her destiny. However, Meichell is a walking testimony to what it looks like to be more than a conqueror. Now, as the owner and director of Lighthouse Counseling, LLC in Virginia Beach, along with her collaborations with anti-trafficking organizations, she is selflessly investing in bettering the lives of countless people and truly reaching the world with the hope and healing of our Redeemer.


As a complex trauma survivor (or “overcomer,” as she prefers to say), the road to her current calling was not so straight and definitely not an easy one. The beginning of her life consisted of navigating the hurt of having an absent father and an abusive mother and stepfather—the results of generational trauma.

In her teens, she was put into a foster care system for a period of time. During that time, her foster family lived next door to Christians. Periodically, the neighbors would connect with Meichell and tell her about Jesus. Meichell had gone to church on and off up to that point but was encouraged by her neighbors to consider Jesus more personally. The power of Jesus’ name had caught her interest, and so whenever she would experience nightmares as a result of her trauma, she would say, “I love Jesus. I love Jesus,” and find relief.

Meichell moved back with her mother toward the latter half of her high school education and, shortly after, moved with her to Georgia, where she ended up meeting her now-husband.

At 18, during the summer between her high school graduation and her freshman year of college, she was driving to visit her school and was hit by a semi-truck. The accident should have been fatal.

But God.

After multiple broken bones and blood transfusions, she recovered but was, understandably, shaken. One week before the accident, she actually bought herself a Bible. She told herself, “I’m going to be a Christian.” So, when this accident occurred, she had some questions for God.

“God, why didn’t you take me home? I’ve lived a hard life.”

Meichell then described how she, for one of the first times, distinctly heard the voice of God respond, “Because I have so many things for you to do.”

And thus, Meichell’s adventure in life with God commenced. She was the first in her family line to graduate high school and the only one to pursue a college degree. She went on to receive degrees in psychology and counseling, including a master’s degree at Regent University, and began practicing counseling.


Meichell ended up at Regent University after hearing about the Christian integration into Regent’s programs and being in the Virginia Beach area after having to move for her husband’s career. Despite it being a hard season being away from her spiritual family and her in-laws, with whom she built a great, healing relationship, she loved the program and was diving deep into the beauty of the clinical process that is mental health counseling.

From the beginning of her career, she knew she wanted to start her own practice. However, she knew she needed to get her feet wet in the field first, starting with local youth programs.

During that time, they adopted two children from South Korea. Due to the hands-on needs of building a family, Meichell had to leave her job. To give her the flexibility she needed, she actually began Christian counseling from her own living room under the name Lighthouse Counseling. For the next ten years, Lighthouse Counseling remained in that living room with just Meichell.

Meichell also had a huge heart for anti-trafficking work. When Meichell started getting more involved with anti-trafficking, she knew she needed to move Lighthouse out of her house and start expanding. She worked with Hopewell, a local practice, for two years to get the feel for group practice.

Then, after waiting 12 years, she felt the Lord finally tell her it was time for her to start her own practice. She created a list of things she knew she needed in order to accomplish this giant feat. One by one, she watched the Lord meet every single one of her needs. She started in a small space with two rooms and a resident. Lighthouse Counseling kept growing from there as more residents and licensed counselors joined. So, they ended up moving to a larger space…

…right before the COVID-19 pandemic.

At first, this was terrifying for the new business owner, Meichell. However, in the midst of lockdowns and quarantines, Lighthouse Counseling was actually established and growing at the exact right time. A mental health crisis emerged out of the pandemic, and so Lighthouse remained open and had consistent clients.

Meichell also got to sharpen her managerial skills during that season as she transitioned from being the main therapist to managing others.

“It was like drinking from a firehose,” Meichell comments in regard to learning to be an owner and director. Dealing with relationship dynamics, personality structures, the specialized needs of employees and so much more helped Meichell really hone her craft professionally.

Today, Lighthouse Counseling has 21 offices and 3 group rooms, going from a staff of 2 to 26 within five years.


Part of the amazing work Meichell gets to do is not only providing biblically grounded counseling and coaching to the Hampton Roads community but also consulting work with other organizations involved in trauma recovery and anti-trafficking. Meichell works with FreeKind, formerly the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative.

Meichell’s heart for anti-trafficking came from her lifelong passion for supporting those who free others. She recalls one time feeling like she was born at the wrong time because she would have loved to be part of large, historical movements of freeing groups of people.

Then she learned about sex trafficking’s presence not just globally but in America, and specifically the Hampton Roads. She immediately got involved with FreeKind, saying, “I need to be part of this.” Meichell ended up helping start their advocate program and has been providing consulting, training, inner-healing ministry and counseling for them ever since.

Meichell has also partnered with Regent’s Center for Global Justice in her continued efforts to combat trafficking.

Anyone can look around and see the world around us crying out for avenues towards wholeness. From the foundations of a biblically founded degree at Regent, Meichell’s mission of integrating the heart of God in mental health and trafficking intervention is vital to the local community’s wholeness. No matter how many times the enemy tried to hold her back, nothing could stop God’s mission for Meichell to be the hands and feet of the Healer.

“…in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (NIV)

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