Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Even Control Queens Can Learn to Let Go


Control Queen

I’m a recovering Control Queen. (Don’t you think Queen sounds better than Freak?)  I like to plan and organize. Unfortunately, I can butt heads with anyone who gets in my way. Just ask my family. I’m perfectly willing to schedule and plan their lives for them, but would you believe they have their own ideas?

  • I made an elaborate chore chart, and my kids went AWOL on it
  • I wanted to dress my daughter in pink frills, but she likes casual cool.
  • When we moved into this house, I was excited to use the third bathroom as a storage closet. Who wants three bathrooms in an APARTMENT when you have no closet? Apparently my husband did.

I’m embarrassed to confess that I get stressed out over itty-bitty issues like these. The bottom line is I want my own way. I want control over my own life (and sometimes over the lives of those closest to me).

I like to run the show and call the shots, but that’s God’s job, not mine.

Sometimes life slips out of my control in a big way, and God reminds me that He’s the one in control.

Like the time our landlord gave us four days to vacate our apartment.

Or the time I waited with my husband 3 hours out on the pavement outside our local emergency room in Izmir. We found out Jose had had a mini-stroke. He needed to stay in the hospital, but they had no available beds. So he spent the night on a reclining chair in the emergency room. (Nope, you don’t plan stuff like that.)

When life spins out of control, two simple facts encourage me.

1.  God holds me in His hands.

Job scripture

How amazing to think that no detail of our lives escapes God. We have a secure place to rest. We can let go of the stress of trying to run the show ourselves. God has control over our very breath.

2.  I can trust Him because He loves me.

Psalm 13 5

Life can take scary, unsettling turns, but we can trust God’s perfect love for us. As we look back over each trial, we can see He redeemed it and used it to shape us. He’s had our good in mind all along. He’s doing a transforming work in our hearts as we learn to step down and let Him be God.

Here’s my Recovering Control Queen Manifesto:

When I let go of control, I’m free to be transformed as I let God take control.


When I let go of control over smaller issues, I’m more fun to be around.  I’m a better mom when I’m not stressing over my daughter’s decision to be a vegetarian. I’m a better wife if I choose not to comment when my husband puts on that same old sweater to go to a party.

Letting go of control over small daily issues is good practice for learning to release life’s bigger problems to God’s oversight. Letting go brings freedom. I’m free to rest. I’m free to trust. I’m free to let God change me. And so are you.

Now it’s your turn: Do you have any Control Queen tendencies?

I’m excited today to link up with Suzie Eller’s #LifeFree Thursday. Also linking up with Grace & Truth and #DanceWithJesus. Check out these communities for more encouragement.

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Photo Credit: Melika






Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

48 thoughts on “Even Control Queens Can Learn to Let Go

  1. Great post! I think that our desire to be in control is one of the greatest hindrances to walking in freedom. But as you said, real transformation takes place when we learn to relinquish our control and trust God with our lives.
    Thanks for sharing your heart this morning!

  2. OH!
    I’m afraid that I, too, am in this royal line! It seems as if every day I have to kick myself out of the center of the universe, and reinstate God in HIs rightful place. I love your two points: held and loved. He really does know what’s best and what makes for a peaceful home. Blessings to you, Betsy!

  3. Great words, Betsy. I struggled so much with control that it contributed to the demise of my first marriage. 😦 BUT GOD and Him loving me so much that I could finally stop performing and learn to trust that all would be okay if I just let go. He is so good…Thanks.

  4. When I let go of control over little things, I am more fun. . . <– yes, that. #powerful Thanks, Betsy, for joining me today on #livefree Thursday. What a joy to see your beautiful face show up around the conversation today.

  5. admitting you are the control queen is a great first step. You have a great sense of humor about it. I’m not a control queen (at least I don’t think I am) but do understand the need to control certain issues.

  6. Love the title “Control Queen”, for that is what I truly am. (Often, perfectionists hold this reigning title;) I can so relate to this post!!! Like the time I thought I was in control of how many kids I had and I decided I only needed three. Then, God gave me a surprise! Or the time we bought a new house and 6 months later my husband lost his job and we had to move 400 miles away. God has a way of showing us we don’t have it figured out and we NEED Him.
    Thank you for sharing your life experiences of losing control, I always enjoy reading your posts!

  7. I’m there! God definitely has a way of showing us that we are SO not in control, and that we need him, doesn’t He?! I didn’t sleep on a recliner in the ER, but when my youngest was born at 29 weeks, they immediately life-flighted her to a hospital over an hour away. My husband went to be with her, but being postpartum, I was stuck. However, the full moon brought dozens of women in labor to the same small hospital that night, and since their babies were “staying with them,” I was booted out of not one, but two labor and delivery rooms. Turns out, they had NO rooms available in the hospital at all. So I was sent to a closet (not even kidding), which held a cot. It’s rather difficult to get up and down on a cot after having an emergency c-section! Because of that, the hospital decided to let me stay in the triage room, and use the “closet” as triage for the night. Needless to say, they released me the very next morning (on strict orders). I can laugh at that night now 😉 Control is most definitely not mine! Thanks again, for this post… love your words! Blessings! #livefree

    • Oh Crystal! What an unbelievable story! You have no idea how you’re encouraging me. I always assumed our emergency room/mini-stroke fiasco happened because we live in Turkey!!! But yours must have happened in the Good Ol’ USA! Knowing how the symptoms of stroke, I would run into an emergency room “saying loudly,”My husband’s had a stroke!” Back then I didn’t know what it was, and I kept thinking, “This must not be important if they have us waiting outside for three hours…” Blessings! #livefree

  8. I agree that Queen does sound better than Freak. 🙂 I love to plan and organize too so I know where you’re coming from. It’s a difficult journey to make peace with uncertainty, but that’s the path I’m on. So thankful that God does indeed hold on in his hands and that we can trust his love. Thanks for the encouragement here, Betsy.

  9. I love your manifesto. Well said. #livefree

  10. I really like your quote about how letting go of control frees us. It seems contradictory, doesn’t it: whether consciously or not, I am thinking, Won’t I feel freer if I take care of everything so there are no surprises? But of course we’re not able to control to that extent, and realizing that either makes us more freakish (uh, queenish) or leads us to release our control and trust God. It’s so difficult at times — like I’m trying to make myself into a totally different person, which of course I can’t do either. Trusting God’s goodness is the only way.

    • Yes, Jeannie. I think you’re right rather than be more freakish/queenish, we can trust God’s goodness. One thing I find is that although letting go of control is hard, it is also helping me to feel not so responsible to step in and make things okay, get the job done, etc., so in that practical sense it also frees me because I’m not as apt to step in and fill in for people as I used to be. Make sense? I’m LEARNING SLOWLY!

  11. Oh Betsy, I’m a control queen too, especially when it comes to my children. Thanks for the encouragement today!
    Kim Stewart

  12. Betsy, I so appreciated the vulnerability and humor of this post. I can so relate. Kids have taught me a LOT about the need to let go of control, but I’m still a work in progress. 😉 Thanks for giving me the extra push to not be too much a Queen today. Oh and yes, I do like Queen much better!

    • Yes Abby, I wrote this just in time to remind myself not to be the Queen when I found out my dear hubster scheduled workers to come clean our four air conditioners (wall units) on my day off home school, when I’d planned it to be a writing/resting day! Let. it. go.,Betsy!

  13. The older my kids get, the more problematic control seems to be. I’m right there with you! I’m learning to focus on my kids’ ability to function without me, and to remind myself that they are capable of pretty much everything I can do. All they need is guidance at this point, and sometimes they don’t even want that! it’s a hard transition, but I’m slowly learning to see them as the emerging adults they are. Thanks for the reminder I’m not the only one who struggles with this!

    • It IS a hard transition, Lisa. I can sometimes see my kids making less than stellar choices over issues like studying, scheduling, and I do probably give more “hints” than they want to hear, but I’m trying to let them learn on their own. (What DOES happen when you let your weekend get so busy that you don’t study for the Monday test???)

  14. Betsy,
    I love the Control Queen Manifesto. I am a recovering Control Queen myself…and you are right…the more I learn to let go of it (especially the little things) the more freedom I have to breathe. I am a much more enjoyable person to be around. Thanks for the encouragement to keep heading in that direction and for the reminder that God’s got this!

  15. Yup. I’m the queen of control right here. And I loved your encouragement here. Yes- letting go brings freedom. And I want more of that. So I’m going to practice letting go in the little things, so I can get better at letting go of everything. Thanks, Betsy! Loved this!

  16. Oh, I definitely agree that “control queen” sounds much better than “control freak.” But, seriously you are right. Things go so much better and we do feel freer when we are not trying to control everything. I, too, can so easily stress over the little things that don’t really matter. I am learning to let go, because I know God is faithful and I don’t need to know or control everything. I lost a good friend this week, which was of course out of my control. We don’t know God’s ways, but we do know He is good and even through loss we can see that He cares and comforts. I’m visiting from #DanceWithJesus.

    • Glad to have you here today, Gayl. I’m so sorry about your friend. That is so hard. I’m lifting up a prayer for you right now, that God’s faithful presence will be your comfort.

  17. Betsy, I live in Izmir for two years. I can imagine how scary that was for your husband – for you. I am a retired Army Officer – talk about control “queen!” It took years for me to let go and yield completely to Him. I refuse to go back because the reward I found there is priceless. This is the key to our survival as Christians:

    Yield to Him your mind, your body and your soul. In the yielding you will find Him. Whisper His Word; let it flow through you to enter the place only He can see – the Secret Place. Let it bring you into the knowledge of the Holy:

    …Grace and peace to you From Him who is, and who was and who is to come… and from Jesus Chris, who is the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth.

    To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood… – to Him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen…

    “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “Who is, and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelations 1:4-6 and 8

  18. Hi there!

    I found this post through the Grace and Truth link up and I’m so glad I did! I definitely struggle with this, more with my poor husband than my kids.

    It’s funny, yesterday He was reading our devo out loud and when he was done he handed me the book and then picked up the Bible and read the Scripture. When he realized he read the wrong one he asked me what it was supposed to be so I told him. And then something weird happened… he just flipped to the right one without missing a beat and casually slipped the words, “awesome, no correction, thank you,” in then continued to read.

    I swear I have been thinking about that since yesterday morning and now it suddenly makes sense. Thanks for the reminder to put my control queen away and be led by Him 😊


  19. Oh, Betty…is their a control queens anonymous? 😉 God is graciously teaching me to hold things more loosely. That life is so much sweeter when I’m not in a ruffled huff, especially over things with momentary value. Thanks for the encouragement and support!

    • A ruffled huff! That cracks me up, Tiffany, but it describes perfectly who I can become when I put that control crown on! God graciously teaches us, as you say….

      • Eeek…my apologies, Betsy, for the purely typo on your name in my original comment. It happens far too often when I try to reply on my phone. 😬

  20. Yep, I’m a charter member of Control Queens Anonymous! My name is Anita, and I like to be in control. But, I’m getting better…slowly…as God teaches me time and time again that his way is better than my way.

  21. Woohoo! Recovering Control Queens unite!

  22. Betsy,

    I like to run the show and call the shots, but that’s God’s job, not mine.

    Oh how I can relate! Love this post. Thank you for being open and real. Susan

  23. Yeah, I’m totally a control queen too! That’s why it’s important to look back at times I’ve been that way in the past, realize how silly it was, and think “this is probably silly too”

  24. Hi Betsy! I will admit to my Control Queen status…you are not the only one. I have lists galore, and feel so bad when I don’t do everything. Then it carries over to the next day and I’m already behind. What a way to live!!
    I like the idea that I should do my best, and then give in over to God who will make the best of all my efforts. Still working on it Betsy. Can’t lie, it’s hard to break old habits. But I want to live lighter, and in more trust!

    Great theme today! I can totally relate,

  25. I hate to admit that I am also a lifetime member of the Control Queens club. I think I know best, can do the best job and don’t like my planned out routine to get off track. Whew! That’s a lot right there. Great post, full of reminders of how to let go and let God. Thanks for hanging out at The Weekend Brew.

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