Maybe you’ve never labelled yourself as “controlling”. But do you erupt in anger when things don’t go according to plan? Or do you melt in anxiety when things slip from your grasp? Are you a perfectionist who obsesses over making everything turn out “right”? These negative behaviors often stem from a deep, underlying desire for control.
But control is such a burden! It weighs us down and tears at our relationships. We become the worst version of ourselves, as we try to manage all of life’s contingencies and lunge for one loose thread after another. Thankfully, there’s another way.
God never designed for us to live under the burden of trying to control it all. Instead, He invites us to find the peace, security, and joy that come—not from gripping onto control, but from laying it down.
Join me—Shannon Popkin—as I share about my own struggles with control, and as I mine the stories of seven Control Girls of the Bible, looking for warnings, lessons, and new insights about God. Learn how you, too, can lay down this burden and find rest in surrendering to the One who truly is in control.
What group leaders are saying about Control Girl:
“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
Bethany France, Cornerstone Church, Caledonia, MI
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.
Tammy Wylie, GBC Church, Gettysburg, PA
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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.”
Eastern Religion says to empty your mind. But as Christians, we fill our minds with the truth that sets us free! As Christians, we’re often quick to say that God is in control, but then we live like we are. We act like “Control Girls”, convinced that it’s all up to us to make things turn out right. These cards can help.
They’re meant to build a bridge between what we say we believe and how we actually live. It’s nearly impossible to stop rising panic, anxiety, or anger in the heat of the moment. By meditating, we ready our hearts to fly to truth, when we’re confronted wit the things that we can’t control.
These cards correlate with the lessons in Control Girl and are meant to help build a bridge between what we say we believe and the way we actually live.
“Control” By Tenth Avenue North
“Control” by King and Country
“I’m Gonna Let it Go” by Jason Gray
“Thy Will” by Hillary Scott
“Still” by Hillary Scott
“Just be Held” by Casting Crowns
“Open Hands” by Laura Story
While you don’t have to work through the Bible study to enjoy the coloring book, the two compliment each other nicely!
For more images and information, go here.
Each of these 38 cards coordinates with one lesson from Control Girl.
You can use the cards without the book and vice versa, but they compliment each other beautifully.
If you’d rather print the cards yourself, you can signup in the form above, and get the link.
Meditating builds a bridge between what we say we believe and how we actually live.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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.”
Why 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.
Path of a Control Girl
Eve: It Looked Good to Me
Sarah: It’s Up to Me
Hagar: Out from Under Her Control
Rebekah: Standing in for God
Leah: Invisible and Unloved
Rachel: When She Has More
Miriam: Taking the Lead
Control Girl to Jesus Girl
How the Book is Arranged
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.
It would be great to have a notebook to record your thoughts and prayers.
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).