Control Girls (and Guys)

Do I even want to talk about being someone who likes to be “in control”? Not really….. but it’s good to know that I’m not alone, as many people of the Bible were themselves people who took control of situations that God already had under control.  Eve, Sarai (Sarah), and even Rebekah were Control Girls. David and Saul were Control Guys. I’m thankful that I can take heart and learn from the warnings and lessons from some of these people in the Bible.
I’ve always known myself to be a leader and someone who enjoys taking the lead on pretty much anything that is thrown at me (even if it over-extends me), but after reading the first few chapters of a recent Bible Study book about “Control”, I’m having some heavy-duty thought provoking realizations. Some not so good.
Ok, so being a leader isn’t so bad, right…?? But what happens when you’re a leader that leads straight into control? That’s a whole other thing; both of these are very different concepts.
As an example, at my job, I work directly with and along-side Engineers and Technical Specialists in the Automotive Industry, and have my entire career. I’m responsible for our couple million dollar yearly departmental budget, as well as purchasing our prototype parts and a gamut of other odds and ends. Since Engineers like to buy things against this budget, there has to be a gate-keeper. I have to keep spending “under control” while still purchasing the parts they need for testing the up and coming anti-lock, as well as autonomous braking systems. We can’t put a braking system on a vehicle until it’s been thoroughly tested, so you could say these prototype parts are extremely important. But does John really need 50 of those machined test parts, or does he really only need 30? Of course, safety is of the utmost importance, after all, when you engage the brake on your vehicle, you expect it to work, but if we spend frivolously and end up with too many leftover test parts (which past years have proved that we usually do), we’ll have an abundance of scrap, and a budget that is suffering. It’s hard to find middle ground sometimes when I’m having to control something like a corporate budget.
So, this leads me into a conundrum, because I get paid to be, what some might call a “control-girl” at work. If I don’t do my job, things can get “out of control”, and that’s not good if our budget exceeds the amount we have allotted. But, during this Bible Study I’ve learned that my “control-girl” tendencies, however, have spilled over into my personal life. Wait… have they spilled over, or have they always been there??? Ouch. Ok, so it’s not even like an “overbearing” type of control; it’s more like an “I care so much, I want this to turn out right” type of control. Still, however, that’s control.
As referenced above, many women in our church have recently started an online Women’s Bible Study* titled “Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible” by Shannon Popkin.  This book has focused specifically on control women of the Bible and it’s really sparked some questions in my head that I’ve not posed to myself in the past. I think the most important sentence thus far in this blog is this question: “Do I really think I can do a better job than God?” Apparently so, if I continue to take control of things. Over the last couple weeks during this study, I’ve been keenly aware of my actions and controlling tendencies in my personal life, and God has definitely shown me when I start to get a bit out of control (with my control)! There’s been a few times that I’ve just stopped and questioned myself. “Am I being controlling? Am I not trusting God right now in this situation?” Sometimes during these times, I’ll find that I am totally ok to drop it. Other times, I’ve found myself in a struggle with Him, trying to reason my thoughts toward action, still trying to control things. “I want this to turn out right! Will you let me help You with this, God?”  In the book, Shannon uses the perfect example of an unattached video game controller. We may feel we’re “plugged in” and running the show, but are we? Her explanation of God dangling my video game controller in my face not plugged in, was a real eye opener for me.
“Rather than letting me continue in my illusion of control, God kindly exposes my lack of control and invites me to trust Him instead” – Shannon Popkin, Chap 1; Lesson 1
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your path.”
Are you a “Control Girl” or a “Control Guy”???  I’m thankful that I’m becoming more and more aware of the Control Girl inside, and thankful that God is prompting and reminding me that He has everything under control so I don’t have to worry about trying to control things myself.  He’s showing me I can only control myself and my own actions. No one else’s. So, why bother? If a situation concerns me, instead of trying to control outcomes, what I need to do is pray and let God do what He does best. Outcomes are His specialty!

*If you’d like to get involved in this Women’s Bible Study please comment on this blog and I’ll get you in touch with our facilitator, Amy Reed.


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About Dena:
“First and foremost, I’m a Daughter of the King and a long-time Christ follower. I’m also a dog mom who enjoys reading Christian books, cardio drumming, traveling often, and I’m a bit of a techie geek. My life has seen its fair share of curve-balls and I’ve found that I’ve become closer to Christ in each trial as He’s comforted me and shown me that I can solely put my faith and trust in Him. 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT says “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” I feel thankful and blessed for the messes in my life – as they have brought me closer to Him.”

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