A major effect that our loss had on me was that I learned how very little control I have. I can do everything in my power to make things work the way I want them to, but that doesn't mean I will get the outcome I desire. God has a plan for my life that I don't know or understand, and while I don't believe He caused our pregnancy loss, I do believe that He knew it was going to happen and chose to allow it.
A friend of mine told me a story when his first child was only a few weeks old. He had put his beautiful little infant in her crib, and as most parents are, he was concerned about her safety as she slept. After he was leaving room, he found (and killed) a very large spider heading toward her crib. He started thinking of all of the things that could have happened if that spider had gotten into her crib with her. The anxiety of being in responsible for her safety was becoming overwhelming. At that moment, he realized how little control he had over every little thing that could happen, and he felt helpless to protect his little baby from all of the possibilities. He felt out of control, but he also felt liberated by the complete and utter dependence he had in God to take care of his family.
After we lost our first child, Angel, I thought a lot about what I could have done to change the outcome or what I may have done to cause the loss. I begged God to help me understand why He had let this happen. I asked pastors and other people who had lost a baby why God allowed it. I couldn't move on until I knew how to prevent another loss and until I knew that we would have children. I was tormented by guilt and anxiety.
I was losing control. My plans were shot, and I couldn't control what happened next. I was angry that God chose to stray from MY plans for my life. But guess what? God gives us the desires of our hearts, which means that he gives us those Godly desires in our lives. It doesn't mean he lets us write out a structured plan for our lives so he can follow OUR road map.
God is in control? Isn't that liberating?!? Who can do a better job taking care of my life than the creator of all? Isn't it also a little terrifying, though?
1 Peter 5:6-7 says:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (ESV)
I was trying to make myself 'bigger' than God by controlling my own life. But I am (still) learning that my anxiety is actually just my struggle to let go and hand it over to God, who is much more capable than I am.
It was terrifying for me because I was so used to doing things in my own strength. But over the months after we lost Angel, I realized that I really don't want things to be in my control! If I had really been in 'control' of everything in my life, that means that it was my responsibility to keep Angel's heart beating. Then wasn't it my fault Angel died? God made my body, and he made Angel. He could have rescued my baby, but he chose to take him or her to worship Him in heaven.
It was NOT my fault. God is in control.
This Tenth Avenue North song really helped me get through that scary time when I was realizing how little control I have: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66njprg_fq8