Friday, January 27, 2017
Surrender the burden of control
Many women worry about life spinning out of control and want to be sure of a happy ending. They have a compulsion to make it all turn out just right and are willing to do almost anything to make it happen. When they realize control is slipping from their grasp, they lose control and react in anger or fear. This unbalanced pursuit of control makes those around them anxious and defensive. Author Shannon Popkin knows this struggle well. In her new book, Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible (Kregel Publications/January 27, 2017/ ISBN: 978-0825444296/$14.99), she reveals to readers the only way to find the deep security they crave is to surrender to God and entrust the outcome to Him.
Popkin admits the need for control has been a problem in her life for a long time, but she didn’t always recognize it. “Even as I was behaving like a complete ‘Control Girl,’ I didn’t see control as my problem. I thought my problem was anger,” she confesses. “Then one day I heard Dee Brestin on the radio talking about the sin beneath the sin. We often recognize our surface-level sins, such as anger, but we fail to connect them to the deeper sin. When she mentioned the sin of control, I instantly knew that was my problem.”
From there, Popkin began to explore how women of the Bible experienced the same need for control. That exploration led her to write Control Girl. In each chapter, Popkin examines the lives of one of seven biblical women for the moments in which grasping for control circumvented God's plans for good, whether it was Eve's desire to know instead of to trust, Sarah's inability to wait for God to move or Rebekah's controlling hand on her family's future. She also guides readers through the lives of Hagar, Leah, Rachel and Miriam.
Using each woman’s story, Popkin examines warning signs and offers lessons for modern-day life and insights about God. Readers will discover how each one of those women took matters into her own hands, tried to make everything turn out right and ended up in misery. “This is my struggle, too,” Popkin admits. “I hijack the story God’s still writing, ignore His greater purposes and make the story all about me and my happy ending.”
Popkin finds God's perspective on each of the problems and reveals how readers can have their own happy endings in similar situations by surrendering control to God. Surrender, however, is not a one-time event. Rather, it is a new direction. When Control Girls choose — in big ways and small — to resist the craving for control and hand the reigns back to God, they are transformed into Jesus Girls. The very important truth is no woman has to be a Control Girl. “When we abandon ourselves to God and trust Him with the future, we find the peace, hope and security that struggling for control can never provide,” Popkin explains.
The author also shares from her own struggles and follows each Bible study with questions for personal reflection and meditation. In the end, Control Girls will find insight into their own experience, peace in the knowledge that God is in control and relief they are free.
Download a free Control Girl leader’s guide for group discussions at www.shannonpopkin.com
“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 and host
“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 and author of Becoming a Woman of Influence
About the Author
Shannon Popkin is a writer, speaker and Bible teacher who loves pointing others to the truth of God’s word. She combines her gifts for humor and storytelling with her passion for Jesus. She regularly speaks at Christian ladies’ events, retreats and moms’ groups — encouraging women of all ages to put their hope in God.
Popkin is also a regular contributor for the Revive Our Hearts’ True Woman blog and The Dove Foundation’s parenting blog. Her articles have been published by Family Fun, Focus on the Family Magazine, MOMsense and others.
Popkin has been married to her husband, Ken, for more than 20 years. Together they live the fast-paced life of parenting three teens in Michigan. When she’s not taking pictures from the sidelines of her kids’ sporting events, Popkin loves to be home, opening her front door to friends and family.