There are things—and people—we just can’t change.

At least not on our own.

But we really, really want to. We want to control the situation, change this person, change ourselves.

We push and pull against God, asking Him to come, to fix this particular situation, change this person, transform us. We are frustrated, struggling to lay down our expectations to God. We desire freedom, surrender, hope. But we don’t know how to get there, live in that place of peace.

I know.

I want control

So we battle, mainly within ourselves, occasionally pleading with God for help.

We so need to hear what God’s take is on our situation. We are desperate to hear what He has to say.

We’re not alone. There are women, just like us, who struggle with this too.

Control Issues and the women of Breathing Eden blog image

I want controlMeet Elisabeth.

Elisabeth tries to keep it all together, battling with pride. She is resistant to confession, repentance, community. She asks God, “How do I be a better person?” She fears she is a mess and doesn’t know how to change.

I want controlMeet Clementine.

Clementine is mourning the loss of her mom who died of cancer. She has believed the lie that she needs to have it all together, be strong and perfect and good, as a way to help her mom when she was sick. She asks God, “Did I love well enough?” She fears she can’t be perfect, and this haunts her.

I want controlMeet Bree.

Bree is a mom of a teenager. She misses connection with her son, and she struggles with this new loss of control she feels in not being able to change the circumstances he faces or influence him the way she would like. She asks God, “What will I do next?” She fears she can’t be the mom her son needs her to be.


I see parts of myself in each of these women. Wow, yes, I struggle with surrendering control. The stories of Elisabeth, Clementine, and Bree are fictional, yet inspired by prayer. They are a few of the women of Breathing Eden, a book of conversations with God on light, fresh air, and new things.

I want control

Do you not want to wait to breathe Eden? Do you want to be encouraged by what God says to us when we struggle to surrender control? Pre-order Breathing Eden and respond right back to this email (jennifer@gatherministries.com). Include the image of your Amazon email receipt. I will send you the first five chapters of Breathing Eden: Conversations with God on Light, Fresh Air, and New Things, right away.

*And here is where you need to go to discover all the other free gifts from ordering more than one book!

Which woman sounds most like you? In what area of your life do you want to surrender control? I would love to know and pray with you.

Recommended Posts
Showing 20 comments
  • Christine Esser
    Reply

    I would like to ask for prayer for my marriage and my son Michael who is addicted to video games. Needs to be set free. We need a miracle. Thank you. Christine

    • Edith
      Reply

      I will pray for your son.
      Amen

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Hi Christine,

      Joining with you, sister.

      Love,

      Jennifer

      • Pam
        Reply

        Praying for a revival of your love that helps you both to stand together with God guiding you. Asking God to bless your inner spirit with peace and for you to have a changeable and willing spirit. Lifting up your son for healing and binding any negative feelings . Realizing that this is not just your problem but is the same in many house holds today. Feeling that you need an outlet and a small group to pray with. May The calming presence of the creator surround you and bring you peace.

  • Edith
    Reply

    I struggle with the obsession of finding selfless love. I have the desire to have a soul mate who is emotionally balanced and whose love philosophy is based on mindful and effective communication. Most men I meet are self focused and ignorant and are naturally avoiders of challenge. Thereby leaving me either to “teach ” them how to behave or to leave and live alone.
    That has been my struggle for years.
    Please pray for me.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Hi Edith, Praying for your peace, dear one–and yes, surrender to Him. He is with you and desires your joy.

      Much love to you,

      Jennifer

      • Edith
        Reply

        Thank you Jennifer. I will pray for full surrender to the Lord Jesus.
        I will pray that His love will fullfil my desire to be loved beyond any mortal love.

        Thank you
        Amen

  • Cindy
    Reply

    I find myself being Bree! Trying to have some control with my teenage son. I want to save him from things I see that isn’t being a good influence For him. He will be 18 next month.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Yes, raising teenage boys . . . wow. Such a beautiful and challenging task! I’m right there with you, Cindy! 🙂

  • Lexie
    Reply

    I would say that I am a mix between Elisabeth and Clementine. Growing up, I had to earn love from my father or he would be nonexistent in my life. I struggle with my heavenly Father the same way. I find myself struggling with perfection, and in the midst of striving and striving to be worthy of His love — I discover how much of a dirty mess I am. It is hard for me to understand His free love and grace, when my performance is under the standard. Sometimes I feel like a hopeless cause.

    Thank you for your stories, I can completely relate to these women. It helps me realize that I am not alone in this struggle. And thank you for loop devotionals as well —- they have completely blessed my life. They are so raw, genuine, and unique. They display a whole new character of God — as an intimate lover and a passionate father. The scriptures come alive! Bless you!!!

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Dear Lexie,

      I am so grateful for your vulnerable heart! He is pursuing you now, dear sister. He is grabbing hold of you and not letting go. This is not impossible–this heart of surrender. God does the most miraculous things–in us!–when we keep trusting Him more than ourselves. Bless you! Keep leaning in!

      And thank you so much for your encouragement. It is such a blessing to me.

      Yes, we are surely traveling this road together . . . . with Jesus holding us fast.

    • Julie
      Reply

      I very much relate to you. Control is a major problem for me. My boys are very difficult to get along with. All I want is to love them , they make it hard to do most times. It’s hard to just let all my problems go and let God handle it.

  • Shiela
    Reply

    I see myself being a lot like Elisabeth…I don’t think I TRY to keep it together out of pride, but more out of fear…fear of others looking at me and seeing my mess…seeing my pain…my desperation…my loneliness…my struggle. Sometimes I also think that IF I can keep it together, the. Mmmmaybe…just mmmmaybe it will all work out? I seek the Lord for comfort. I’m tired…I’m running on empty and I no longer have the strength to run from fear.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Shiela, oh, this is so my story too. . . the wanting to hide and look like I have it all together. And, I know, from experience, it just breaks our hearts. We can’t hold ourselves together on our own. We just can’t. It is time to let go, dear one. It is such a better place where He is. And we can’t hold on to the lies of trying to achieve something we never can–perfectionism, etc.–and hold Jesus too.

  • Pam
    Reply

    I am struggling with not doing enough for my sisters. One just lost her husband to cancer and the other sister is having such a hard time with her chemo. I do all that they will let me do but they won’t let me do much. Feeling depressed and trying to be my best self and do God’s will too. It is impossible to be all things to all people and I am now wanting to throw myself into doing all for my daughter who will have knee replacement soon. Feeling overwhelmed daily as I now try to open my heart to God’s light and prepare to lead a bible study this Sept of our small group. Trying to be there for my retired husband and show him life is still good. I know that God is the answer and daily surrendering to Him but feeling the world rushing around me right now and seeking peace and God’s presence right where I am.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Dear Pam, It is beautiful how you have been given a heart to love others. It is a tricky thing, sometimes, to know how to respond to the pain of the ones around us–particularly when we feel so depleted ourselves. To give of ourselves–to be able to give anything of love–we have to let ourselves be loved by God first. I am praying now that our Father helps you lean back into His arms now. He is everything you need. He will lead you and teach you how to respond to the people He brings into your life. Let Him care for your heart first, dear one.

      • Pam Kelley
        Reply

        Thank you, sometimes we must stop trying and let God take care of us. We must sit quietly and just be held, recognizing that only God can give us the Princely peace that He alone offers. With Him holding me I am safe, happy and open to His will. Recognizing that we are only human and as such we are easily overwhelmed if we let the enemy in. Focusing on Jesus and reading His tender words to us in the Bible can bring peace. Resting in him can let answers surface. Talking to Him in prayer and telling Him all my fears and deepest thoughts can clear my mind and allow Him to work through me. To channel His love to others I must first rest in His love myself.

        • Erica
          Reply

          Pam, I love when you said “resting in Him can let answers surface” that was so powerful and moving to me. I always think that I must put my words into actions and do my part but sometimes simply resting IS doing something. It’s being content, happy and relinquishing all control to the One who knows best.

          • Pam

            It has taken many trials for me to learn to let go and let God. Each day finds me abiding with Christ in joy if I relinquish all control to Him. Yet, because I am human, this desire to be in control resurphases and I must seek out the reason yet again for my unrest and anxiety. It is an ongoing, challenging task, is it not. This is probably the most simple and primary act of faith .To trust in Our Lord to give to Him complete control. I feel that it brings peace and contentment to us and pleases Him immensely.

  • Marsha Gillespie
    Reply

    Pray for me I need to go to the next level

Leave a Comment