Craving Control

Unraveling and prayer

I recently finished a book that was so practical and inspiring that I wanted to blog about it! It’s entitled Control Girl- Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible by Shannon Popkin. The author shares both her personal struggle with being controlling and gives examples and lessons from several Old Testament women for us to learn from.

The book really lends itself to being studied together in a small group so I contacted a friend who suggested some others and our book group was formed. The book, along with the Bible verses and discussion questions made it an easy format to lead the group. More than that though was the deep personal application that all of us were able to come away with through studying it. I thought I’d share some of it with you in hopes that there are a few other “control girls” out there that may benefit from it.

What is a “Control Girl” anyway?  Well, instead of trusting in and surrendering to God, control girls respond with anger or anxiety along with controlling behaviors and words. The author asks these questions for us to consider: “What do I crave having control over? What do I fear losing control of?” (Anxiety) and “What am I trying to control? Am I angry because I’ve lost control of something?” (Anger)

For me, my response is mostly that of anxiety. I crave control over circumstances that feel out of control and I also tend to care WAY too much what others think of me. I’m the queen of “What if…?” What if I fail? What if they get mad at me? What if I don’t get the job? What if I make a mistake? What if I get cancer? What if they reject me? I crave control over people’s opinions of me, perfection in myself, and a life filled with ease and happiness.

As the author shares in the book, the more I cling to that control, the less I am in control of myself which is the only thing I actually do have any control over! My attitudes, actions and responses are the only things I can control and everything else is to be surrendered to God. EVERYTHING!  Gulp, that’s a big pill to swallow when you’re so “good” at being a control freak! I need to put all things into the very capable hands of Almighty God instead of trying unsuccessfully to do it myself. But how do I do that?

She shares that changing our emotions and behavior begins with changing our thinking. I can do that by meditating on Scripture and surrendering to God what is His to begin with. I can become a “Jesus Girl” instead of living as a “Control Girl.” The book has meditations for each lesson with a Scripture and corresponding point from the chapter. The one that has been impactful to me is Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The author adds, “God, I will cultivate a new mind-set of surrender by meditating on truth about You.” Only with God, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, is this even possible and I am slowly making baby steps towards being less controlling and having a heart of surrender. It’s worth it… He is worth it!!

There are more great takeaways from the book that I could go into, but I really recommend that you get it and read it for yourself. The questions in each chapter for journaling and discussion are deep and thought provoking and worthwhile to answer as you go through the book. All in all, a great read and helpful resource that I wanted to share!

Lisa Smeaton

Children’s Ministry Director


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