There’s nothing particularly special about this building. Walls, windows, doors. Cracks, scratches, stains. It’s old. Really old. Just a building. But when I walked out of it today—maybe for the last time—it was…hard.
A Google search led me through those doors for the first time almost six years ago. The mechanical chime of a bell sounded when I stepped inside. If you’d told me then that I’d hear that chime hundreds and hundreds of times over the next six years, I’d have probably said, “No, this is just a temporary thing. I’m just feeling this out.”
But it was so much more than that.
Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center is moving next week. We’re not changing our name or our mission or purpose, just physically moving. We’re growing in size and vision. We’re moving forward—a good direction to move.
There’s nothing particularly special about this building. Just brick and wood and shingles, all formed to be a faithful structure to us for the last 22 years.
And yet, walking away was hard today. Not because I loved the worn carpet, or my old office with the drawer that always sticks, or the bathroom with the toilet handle that you always had to jiggle just right.
It was hard because of the moments.
The many moments I sat in my office after everyone had left, head in my hands, and cried over the lives that I knew had ended that day.
The time I saw a young woman look away from the ultrasound image of her child, tears streaming down her face, because she knew that if she looked she’d cancel her abortion appointment.
The time I read Psalm 139 to a young woman, and she wept.
The time I held a newborn baby girl whose father had threatened physical harm to her mother if she didn’t abort.
The times I saw parents guilt and manipulate their daughters into having abortions.
The times I saw fathers walk away.
The times I received phone calls from new mothers, saying, “Thank you for what you all did for me. I’m keeping my baby.”
The times proud new moms brought their children back to visit.
The times I heard mothers and fathers gasp when they saw those first flutters on the ultrasound screen.
The time I saw my own son on an ultrasound screen for the first time, and marveled.
This place is just a building. Just a building whose walls have heard the whispered fears, anxieties, and insecurities of hundreds of scared mothers. Whose doors have muffled the sobs of women who felt abandoned and alone. Whose floors have groaned under the weight of the excited, stomping feet of staff and volunteers when a woman chose life.
This place is just a building with a thousand stories. Many of them disturbing and heartbreaking. Many of them joy-filled and victorious. This place is just a building where I’ve cried more than I’d care to admit, and where I’ve seen lives changed, faith challenged, and tiny hearts beating.
This place is where faithful staff and volunteers have come to serve day after day because they believe that life—every life—is worth speaking for and fighting for. This place has kept going because donors kept giving, knowing that life-changes were happening, worth far more than any dollar amount. And this place is where women and men have come, uncertain and scared, seeking hope in hopeless circumstances.
So…maybe this place is not just a building after all. Maybe the stories that have unfolded within these walls make this building a priceless treasure. Maybe in the months and years to come we’ll drive by this old building and be reminded of where we’ve been and where we’re going.
And as women and men begin walking through the doors of our new building, we’ll hold our breaths in anticipation of every story that’s about to unfold.
And that makes it pretty special.
Mary Holloman is the Communications Assistant at GPCC. She has a ruggedly handsome husband, two ridiculously cute kiddos, and an unfortunate weakness for Diet Mountain Dew. You can read more from her at her blog, maryholloman.com.