One day, near her home, 12-year-old Lianna Rebolledo was savagely raped by two men. As one might expect, depression and guilt filled her thoughts for days and weeks. This situation only compounded the abandonment issues and loneliness of her young life. Folding under the weight of that horrid experience, she attempted to commit suicide. While in the hospital, the doctors informed her that she was pregnant. When told of her “right” to have an abortion because a baby would be a continual reminder of the rapist, she responded, ” Will having an abortion take away the memory and pain of the rape?” The doctor responded, “No”. Lianna’s response was that of someone far beyond her years. She saw no reason to give the death penalty to her baby since this was not the baby’s fault. Even at the young age of twelve, Lianna knew there was someone alive inside her body. She heard the heartbeat and took responsibility for that life.
As a 13-year-old mother, Lianna knew it would be hard growing up with her daughter, but she stepped up to the challenge. She knew she was not mentally and emotionally ready for such an assignment. As Lianna got older and more mature, she lied about her age and was able to get a job…two jobs in fact. As her child grew, Lianna’s focus was not on the rapist, but on her daughter, Jeanette. This little girl gave value to life and a reason to carry on. Jennette’s love and kindness gave her young mother the self worth, love, and reason to live that had been lacking in her life.
Now 35, Lianna sees, even more vividly, the importance of her daughter’s life. Always, in the most desperate times, Jeanette served her mother with gladness asking what she could do to help. She would touch her face, tell her “it will be okay”, and write her letters. At four, Jeanette, thanked her young mother for giving her life. At that statement of thankfulness, Lianna realized that her own life had been saved by her loving daughter.
Lianna is convinced that abortion is not the solution…not even for rape. For her, the physical scars from the experience only serve as reminders that “it could have been worse”. Two lives could have been destroyed by evil; but instead, two lives were saved by love. When Lianna asked God to help her forget, God impressed upon her that it is not about forgetting but about forgiving!
Today, Lianna has an organization called Loving Life to help those suffering from post traumatic disorder after abuse. Her daughter, Jeanette, is one year from finishing college, and life holds value for that family. Lianna’s selfless choice saved her beautiful daughter’s life and that daughter saved Lianna’s life. God can make all things work together for good to those who love Him… (Romans 8:28) Call upon Him and He will give you the strength to do what is right for all involved. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Have you had an abortion? Are you contemplating this option? What might be holding you back from calling upon God for help? He eagerly awaits your invitation.
What an awesome story! Thanks Stephanie.