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For whatever reason, my text layer expands beyond the canvas and the text contained within it is difficult to manage because of it.

I can't find a way to shrink the layer dimensions to wrap around just the text that I'm editing, and whether I'm going about that the right way.

Any suggestions?

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There are two kinds of text box in GIMP, a fixed text box, and a dynamic text box.

To make a fixed text box, select the text tool, and click and drag on the image to make a text box of a fixed size, then you can type in it and the text will wrap as you type. You can also resize this kind of text box and the text will flow inside it.

To make a dynamic text box, select the text tool, and click once on the image, then when you type the text box just keeps expanding over the edge of the canvas.

Examples:

enter image description here

You can also switch between dynamic and fixed text boxes in the tool options for the text tool

Text tool options, change dynamic/fixed text

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