Hey, I’m Shannon.

And I never knew I was a Control Girl. Not until I got married and had kids. That’s when I started having little fights with my husband about silly things (like which parking space to choose). I started feeling unhappy when things didn’t go perfectly (like when he fell asleep at a dinner party). The tension, anger, fear, and anxiety spilling into my life all stemmed from my desire for control.

I was just trying to make everything turn out right. But I was making everyone (myself included) miserable in the process. 

That’s when God opened my eyes to the problem of control.

In this nine-week study, we’ll study seven women of the Bible, and consider God’s perspective on control. We’ll look at Eve, who wanted to know instead of trust. Sarah, who rushed ahead and played God. Rebekay, who tried to control her family’s future. Each woman’s story offers us warnings, lessons and insight into our own struggles with control. 

Learn how you, too, can lay down your burden of needing to control everything, and find rest in surrendering to the One who truly is in control. 

Are you a Control Girl?

Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control From Seven Women in the Bible

As Featured On

A Look Inside the Book


Why should you study “Control Girls” of the Bible? I suppose I could have written a book about seven controlling women from our day (there would surely be no shortage!), studying how God’s Word addresses their issues. But studying Bible women gives us two advantages:

First, we get to see how their stories turned out! We can flip forward in our Bibles and see how God settled the things these women were fretting or fuming about. Second, we get to see God’s perspective on their stories. We can listen in on the very conversations they had with God himself, and watch how God responds.

Each Bible woman’s story offers unique warnings, lessons, and insights as we turn to consider our own stories.


Each chapter is divided into “lessons”, so that when you’re on a time budget you can complete a full train of thought each time you open your book to study. Each chapter has between 3 and five lessons, depending on how much our woman of that Bible has to say!

The lessons each open with a Bible reading and close with a set of applications questions. You’ll be asked to consider your own life, read additional passages from the Bible, and write out your responses and plans for putting truth into practice.


Each lesson also ends with a meditation—an encapsulated truth, verse, and prayer from the lesson.

So often we say God is in control, but live like we are. If you’re serious about inviting God to change you, these meditations will help you replace wrong thinking with right thinking about God, yourself, and others.

As you study, may you find the peace, security and joy which are only available to those who surrender (not those who take control).


  2. EVE: It Looked Good to Me
  3. SARAH: It’s Up to Me
  4. HAGAR: Out from Under Her Control
  5. REBEKAH: Standing in for God
  6. LEAH: Invisible and Unloved
  7. RACHEL: When She Has More
  8. MIRIAM: Taking the Lead

What Others Are Saying About “Control Girl”

"Speaks to relevant issues women face today..."

“Shannon has a wonderful ability to translate the truths of God’s Word into interactive Bible studies that speak to relevant issues women face today. Control Girl is a penetrating look at how selfishness and self- protectiveness wreck lives—and why surrender and trust are God’s life- giving pathways to true freedom and joy.”

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
Author, and Revive Our Hearts Teacher & Host

"Very insightful and provocative."

Fantastic read for a Bible study group. My group is currently reading it, and we have had some pretty in-depth discussions on the topic of controlling others and situations and, being controlled by others and situations. Very insightful and provocative. I highly recommend.

Amazon reviewer

"Ideal for personal use or for small-group studies."

“If you’ve ever struggled with control issues, read this book. With personal vulnerability, biblical depth, powerful personal illustrations, and pointed application questions, Shannon Popkin reveals how seven women of the Bible can teach us how to surrender our will to God’s design for our future. It’s ideal for personal use or for small-group studies.”

Carol Kent
Speaker & Author of Becoming a Woman of Excellence

"You won’t be disappointed..."

“We learned much and have all been filled with the desire to CHANGE and be Jesus Girls. You won’t be disappointed if you choose Control Girl as your next women’s group study.”

Sara Moll
Rock Church, Lincoln, NE

"Easy and entertaining read, yet... packs a punch"

“In the style of Liz Curtis Higgs, Control Girl is an easy and entertaining read, yet Shannon Popkin packs a punch where we so need it if we are to be set free from the stressful habit that robs our joy and ruins our relationships!”

Dee Brestin
Speaker & Author of Idol Lies

"Life-changing book for a ladies ministry study."

“If you are looking for a remarkably challenging and life-changing book for a ladies ministry study, I highly recommend Control Girl. Shannon challenges the reader throughout the book to truly surrender to the One who is in control. I appreciate the author’s transparency and her willingness to speak to real life experiences that penetrate to the soul. I highly recommend using the meditation cards to carry with you as a daily reminder of God’s truth and promises.”

Tammy Wylie
GBC Church, Gettysburg, PA

“Delightful. Insightful. Helpful."

“Delightful. Insightful. Helpful. Popkin’s sweet blend of storytelling and Scripture helps the medicine go down. If you’re a control freak, this study is just what the doctor ordered.”

Mary Kassian
Speaker & Author of Girls Gone Wise

“Several group members reported this book transformed them!"

The tools that Shannon provides – coloring book, [meditation] cards, leader’s guide – are effective supplements. Several group members reported this book “transformed” them!

Bethany France
Cornerstone Church, Caledonia, MI

“Funny, tender, and truth-telling..."

“In this funny, tender, and truth-telling book, Shannon Popkin peels back the layers of our control problem. If that sounds a bit like a root canal, wait until you crack the cover. In a tone that feels like coffee with a close friend, Shannon bravely goes first, letting us see the reality of her own need to control while simultaneously pointing us to the hope found in God’s Word.”

Erin Davis
Author, Blogger, and Recovering Control Girl

“Painfully honest and to the point..."

“Shannon gets painfully honest and to the point as she challenges all of us Control Girls to surrender that burden and experience the Happy Ending God has planned! . . . She takes us through the lives of seven women from Scripture to help us discern more readily when we are grabbing for control rather than walking in the rest that Christ provides.”

Kimberly Wagner
Author of Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior, Coauthor of Men Who Love Fierce Women

“Find freedom in true spiritual growth..."

“No one wants to be enslaved to anger, anxiety, or fear. Yet many battle those emotions without making any headway in their struggle to fix themselves and others. In Control Girl, my longtime friend Shannon Popkin offers an alternative strategy. She shows how biblical thinking helps readers understand the conditions of their hearts so that they can find freedom in true spiritual growth through the wisdom of the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. I highly recommend it.”

Dr. Chris Brauns
Pastor of The Red Brick Church, Author of Unpacking Forgiveness and Bound Together

“For any woman longing for security, peace, and joy..."

“Authentic, relevant, and truth-filled, Control Girl is written especially for any woman longing for security, peace, and joy. Through her Bible-based teaching and humorous stories, Shannon reminds us God never intends us to carry around the burden of control, and instead offers us the gift of sweet surrender to him. I finished Control Girl being reminded afresh that for those who love God, there awaits the happiest Happy Ending imaginable. Hooray! Highly recommended!”

Cindy Bultema
Women’s Speaker, Bible teacher, and Author of Red Hot Faith

“Helping me solidify my foundation as a Jesus Girl..."

“When you start out reading a book for an endorsement and it becomes your Bible study, that is a good sign. Instead of making notes about how good the book is, I found myself writing down how God was using Shannon’s words to address the heart of my own control issues. Control Girl is helping me solidify my foundation as a Jesus Girl, giving me confidence to practice surrender first and be OK with God not answering all my questions.”

Jen Ferguson
Coauthor of Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography

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