August 26, 2019

You sparked hope

We had no idea Rebecca’s story with us started 10 years ago in the sonogram room.

Click the photo to Rebecca’s video.

Most staff in our clinic offices knew Rebecca Ibarra as the modest, godly mom of five who volunteered faithfully every week, quietly organizing our baby store. She small-talked about her family beach vacation, her son’s wrestling tournaments, and her church group. But not many knew she first walked through our clinic doors 10 years earlier as a client in a spiral of self-destruction.

“That year, 2009, I was raising an 8-year-old and a one-year-old,” she recalls. “I was living with a man who was not my husband. When the pregnancy test came back positive, overwhelming anxiety just washed over me. What do I do now?”

She shakes her head to think about how complicated her situation had become over the years. As a child, she vividly remembers the real spiritual experience of getting baptized at First Baptist Church in Leesville, LA. Her parents got divorced, she joined the military at age 17, had a baby and got married by 18, and eventually worked her way up to well-paying jobs at large companies. When her family stopped going to
church, she descended into a dark season.

“I drowned myself with cocaine, alcohol, chain smoking and a party lifestyle. I became the complete opposite of who I knew I should be,” she said. “I would go to Planned Parenthood when I needed Plan B contraceptives.”

Nobody at Planned Parenthood presented her with options or listened to her story. Luckily this time, she found our clinic through a Google search.

“It was so welcoming, like I was in someone’s home,” she recalls. “My nurse showed me the sonogram and said I’m 16 weeks pregnant. I saw a
squirming baby boy.” She said her advocate’s loving approach in
the counseling room broke down barriers that allowed her to be open.

“This flood of emotion came out of me,” she said. “I had gone through one traumatic event after another. The divorce, drugs, alcohol abuse, and covering up a rape I had suffered. Hiding beneath all that was such a heavy burden.”

Her advocate kept reminding her that despite all her decisions that brought so many difficult consequences, Jesus still loved her. “I felt like this was the beginning of something,” Rebecca said. “I look back at that moment, and I
can say hope started there. It was like a light you could barely see, but I left the office knowing I could choose life for my son—and for myself.”

She accepted the advocate’s invitation to attend Watermark Church. God began to work in powerful ways. She married the baby’s father, and they built a family.

“We started to break down those walls in our lives with so much sin and started the healing process, she said. “We have five kids now, including
the youngest we took in for a relative through guardianship. Our lives are completely different and that’s all because of Jesus. He really can change you.”

She is now using her story as a platform for His glory as she serves as an ambassador for life at churches and various events. Her message?

“Every man, woman and child who has any interaction with the Vinekeepers’ ministry is truly being changed, and an imprint of Christ is being left,” Rebecca says. “I’m proof.”