Black Clouds
Black Clouds
Perfect Bound Softcover
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In her memoir, Black Clouds, author Linda “Leigh” Haynes Pritchard Leonard tells the story of the life challenges she has faced. More than anything, it is a journey into God’s care, revealing how He works in the lives of innocent children and people who put their trust in Him.

During the early years of Leigh’s abuse and abandonment, God sheltered her from the fiery darts of those who would harm her. He prevented her from realizing that her life was any different from those of her schoolmates. From being abandoned as a child to dealing with her adult life as she faced life-or-death situations, God has always been with her. She has dealt with alcohol abuse, the destruction of her home through fire, and a tortuous relationship with her biological mother. Through all of her personal challenges, God has surrounded her with His love and with angels to carry her through it all.

In the end, Leigh and her husband sought God’s grace and the love He holds for all of His children. They overcame many trials, much tribulation, abuse, rejection, and abandonment and have survived through God’s unconditional love. Leigh’s resilience and the ever-present hand of God is evident as she bravely recounts in vivid, inspiring language the traumas and tragedies she experienced throughout her life. Ultimately, Black Clouds is the story of one woman’s survival through her strong faith in God and supportive family and friends.

This is a current day story of a little girl, abused, rejected and abandoned by her father and mother. Leigh will endure heartbreak and hardship in her struggle to make sense out of the hand life has dealt her. Watch her struggle alone as she searches for God in all the mess. Even though she has been trampled down into the dank garbage dump of life, somehow she finds the strength to dig out into sunshine. How does she find the courage to get up and try again and again? She saw no God in her little life therefore, God was silent … but He was there! Come along with us on this epic journey. Put yourself in Leigh’s shoes and come follow the narrow, twisted path of a life filled with Dark Clouds.

There are so many who carry the burden of this same story, enclosed in their little black box. You are not WORTHLESS in God’s KINGDOM. You did nothing wrong! The abuser is the sick person. Please do not feel sorry for me now. I feel sorry for that little girl so long ago! But I had a Good life. I hid the bad so most people who know me knew nothing about this abuse until now. I am just thankful to have had a home after having been tossed out like trash from my home as a little girl.

I never worried that I wasn't wanted by my birth parents. I just couldn't understand why things had turned out as they had. Somehow, I heard or overheard some conversation that my birth parents were trying to get my little brother back. I wondered why they didn't want me. My little brother always thought I had a better set of parents than he had because each time he visited, he noticed that I had ‘new things.’ Therefore, he suspicion that I had it much better than he did. So you see, it is possible to judge people and situations from the outside looking in but you don’t really know what they have been through and how they live at home.

You think you are blessed but I was blessed too. I lived through it and he thought I had everything – but he didn't know what really happened in my life. Even my parents didn't know. I wonder if it would have changed their choices in any way had they known.

On October 16, 2005, 3:08 am, we were awakened by and enormously loud explosion that actually shook the entire house. I said, “Jeremy, what was that?” Jeremy replied, “I don’t know.” He jumped up out of bed and the house was dark. He can’t see without his glasses, but there was a beam of light coming from somewhere above shining on his glasses. We were in the basement and there was a light that then lead us out of the bedroom and into the family room. Jeremy was in the lead and I followed. This beam of light from above was leading us up the stairs. We could even see the birdhouses on the ledge of the stairs. The inside door from the garage was on the left when we got to the top of the stairs, Jeremy said “Look at the door casing” as it was hanging loose.

We both peered out into the darkness of the garage where we could hear LOUD hard- rock music. We smelled something that smelled like burning plastic. It was so totally dark, we could see nothing. Upon hearing some strange noise, Jeremy said, “Someone is trying to break into our house. Call 9-1-1.

God works in mysterious ways. Our daughter and her husband went on a missionary trip and worked at an orphanage. After returning from the trip, they decided that they want to try to adopt a child before they had children of their own. This began a God’s journey and they ended up with two children from the same family in the process. As they stood at their church telling about their trip, there was someone in the audience that knew of a family that had a small child and another on the way. They all meet each other and fell in love and that is how it works out. Our whole adoption journey has taught me so much about how in control God is and how if we just let Him have control and are obedient to what He asks us to do, then we will be blessed and we will have complete peace in knowing this is his work. He had all of this in the works way before I even had a clue and I’m so happy we were blessed to get to come along for the ride. So to wrap everything up, my hope is that our story will inspire others to follow their heart and what God is tugging at your heart to do, in any area of your life. But, obviously I wish more people would be willing to adopt, provide foster care, provide temporary relief for foster families, etc.

Linda “Leigh” Haynes Pritchard Leonard has lived in Missouri most of her life. In this memoir she shares her life experiences in order to inspire other people to share their ups and downs and wonderful life testimonies. She currently lives in Springfield, Missouri, with her husband and dog.


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