I've always loved cooking. My mom and grandma baked cookies, pies and fresh bread, and I was their sous chef—I wanted to be just like them. When I was accepted to culinary school at Red River College in Winnipeg, I was thrilled. The kitchen is like a second home—there's no place I'd rather be.

I enjoyed my training, but the long hours, often on weekends, meant sacrificing a lot of my church life. I grew up in a Christian home and have attended Heritage Park Temple in Winnipeg all my life, where I was part of Sunday school, youth group, Bible study and singing groups. There was always someone to help me along the way and answer my questions.

My grandparents, Commissioners John and Elizabeth Nelson, are wonderful examples of unwavering faith. They have shown me that no matter what is going on in my life, the good and the not so good, God will see me through—that when life hands you lemons, God can make great lemonade.

"The kitchen is like a second home," says Micaela "The kitchen is like a second home," says Micaela

God has always been part of my life, but I think his presence became real to me when my mom had a brain aneurism when I was 12. I remember being so scared as she went in for surgery. I thought I was going to lose her. While we sat in the cafeteria waiting, the sun came shining through the windows. It felt like God was telling us she was going to be OK—and she was.

Much has happened since then, but God has continued to remind me that he is there, like the sun through the window. Last summer, I did an apprenticeship at Peller Estates Winery in St. Catharines, Ont. I didn't know anyone and I was scared and nervous. On my first day, I pulled into a parking spot and said a quick prayer, asking for a sign that I was in the right place, that I was doing the right thing. Just then, a woman in another car with a Manitoba license plate pulled in beside me. We got out and introduced ourselves, and have been friends ever since. I know God put her in my life.

My relationship with God hasn't always been easy. I went through a tough time that made me angry with God. I didn't know what to do. I pushed my friends away because I wanted to deal with it on my own. My Christian life was suffering because I wasn't able to attend church. But when I started losing my passion for baking, when decorating a cake stopped making me smile, I knew I needed my friends and God back in my life. I turned back to God and he was there. I felt whole again.

After graduating from culinary school, I moved to Ontario for a job at Peller Estates. Although it was scary to move away from my family, and I was sad to leave Winnipeg, a city I love, I know that God is with me. I can't wait to see how God is going to work in and through my life on this new adventure.


On Wednesday, August 3, 2016, Cyndi Bade said:

Micaela, words cannot explain how proud I am of you! You have grown into a beautiful young lady. You are an inspiration to all who know you, your faith is shown in so many ways. I know you will succeed in all you do! Love your proud Auntie!

On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, Connie Knighton said:

Micaela, you are special. Your smile reflects your confident faith. How exciting to have a career and vocation where you previously had just a hobby. THAT is a recipe for success.

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