Control Girl by Shannon Popkin* is one of the most powerful Bible studies I’ve read in years.

I drink coffee every morning, try to get my brain to wake up, and see what God has to say to me while I read. Often the results are sketchy, especially if the caffeine takes too long to kick in.

But sometimes a book is so good that (even partially caffeinated) you have to reread portions because it’s so helpful. Sometimes you have to just demand that everyone reads it too. I was ten pages in when I knew my friend and I would study the book together over the summer. I was about twenty pages in when I knew I would recommend it to the women’s ministry at my church. We’re starting the book in our small group next week, and I just can’t wait to see what we learn together.

In fact, I think there are only two kinds of people who don’t need to read it:

  1. Dudes
  2. Women who have never once in their life wanted to control a situation, a person, or the future. (I have not actually met any women like this.)

While Popkin is a gentle, friendly writer who graciously states the truth, I’m still convicted. EVERY MORNING I have to face the truth about myself.

And the thing is– I’m tremendously grateful. Do you know what kind of woman I’d be without the Holy Spirit’s ceaseless work in my heart? I’d be exactly like the seven women from the Bible that Popkin highlights in the book. And while God and I have made some tremendous headway in recent years before Control Girl, I still face a lot of anxiety over situations I can’t control, over relationships I can’t manipulate, and the future that refuses to bend to my plans.

I’m starting to see how much stress I cause myself by being a micromanager. I even wrote a whole chapter about this into my new book, I Could Use a Nap and a Million Dollars (coming winter of 2018!). But Control Girl takes it further than a chapter. It helps me face some of my darkest impulses, every morning before 7am, and I’ve never even wanted to throw the book across the room.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Shannon Popkin’s website has all kinds of fabulous freebies for you. This is the trail I followed before I decided to buy the book, and I think you’ll find these links helpful too:

  • Are You a Control Girl? Take the Quiz!┬áStart here and don’t blame me if you don’t like the answers. I wasn’t too excited about myself, either.
  • Blog posts to help you sort out your answers after you take the quiz.
  • Control Girl to Jesus Girl Series: This is a nice selection of case studies of real women who ran into their own control issues, and how the Holy Spirit worked in their situations. It always helps to know you’re not alone, right?

Here’s the thing, dear reader. The results are in– attempting to control the world and all the people in it will bring destruction. If you doubt me, just read the Bible stories of the women highlighted in this book. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can choose another way to live, one that brings grace and freedom to ourselves and our loved ones.

If you want help choosing the better way, Control Girl is a great place to start.


*Affiliate link, which means I’ll make a small portion if you purchase from the link. But I did buy the book– it wasn’t given to me as a promotional event.