Friday, October 21, 2011

THE COLOR OF RAIN (How Two Families Found Faith, Hope & Love In the Midst of Tragedy) by MICHAEL AND GINA SPEHN

This is one of the most poignant and raw books I have had the pleasure of reading. Real and remarkable. This true story takes you into the depths of heartache. We are given the real image of what cancer and death do to a family. I must be honest and share with you, this was a hard read for me. It was deep and I mean deep for the reasoning that you see into the rooms of the dying. I think it was so hard for me, because cancer took my dad at a young age. So, I have seen this evil first hand and these pages brought me back to those days and made it all too real for me again.

This story is written by Gina and Michael, who both lost their spouses to cancer. Their spouses were high school friends. Gina begins sharing in the first chapter and then Michael shares. I love how the book goes from each of their lives. This would be the saddest book I have ever read, but it doesn't stop there. Both Cathy Spehn (Michael's wife) and Matt Kell, (Gina's husband) knew exactly where they were going after their walk on this earth. Heaven was just a breath away and for these families, they came together in the worst of times, but all along, God had a plan. Before Cathy died, she told her husband to call, Gina. She knew, Gina, had lost her husband and could help Michael in his darkest times.

This book is filled with hope, faith and love. Grace covers each page. We see the anger and resentment. We see family members come to know Christ through the faith that was witnessed by all who knew Matt and Cathy. We learn that even in tragedy blessings abound. God is real and not far from us, but right there with us in the midst of each and every trial.

I was honored to read this book. To read about the lives of Matt and Cathy. They were not only filled with grace and dignity, but with honor for life. Even in the end they continued to place their families first. Although this book brought back memories of my dad for me, it was a book that blessed my heart.

Once you read the book you get the sweet gift of understanding the title. We see new beginnings take shape and God move in these families, bringing beauty from ashes. I love how Michael and Gina brought their children together and shared in an honest way with them. My heart will forever remember these pages I have read. I feel as though I knew Matt and Cathy. The photos shared in this book are breathtaking. Yes, this was a hard read, but one that grabs hold of your heart and brings you to the table of thankfulness.

This book was a gift from Zondervan for it's review.

Michael and Gina Spehn, joined together by the loss of their spouses, co-founded The New Day Foundation for Families, which provides financial, emotional, and spiritual resources for families with children who have lost a parent to cancer. They are privileged to share their story and faith as speakers and as hosts of a weekly talk radio show, Your Family Matters, in Detroit, MI. Michael and Gina, along with their five children, make their home in southeastern Michigan.
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