176: How to Manage Difficult Emotions with Self-Awareness and God’s Love with Jessica Hottle

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As Christian women, how are we supposed to manage our emotions? It’s normal to have emotions that cause us shame, overwhelm and fear, but how can we offer these difficult emotions godly compassion? How can we cultivate emotional awareness and find healing from mindset struggles rooted in past pain

In today’s episode, you will hear from Jessica Hottle about how to manage your emotions, gain emotional awareness, and embrace the truth of your future with God’s love.

How do you give yourself godly compassion while managing your emotions as a woman of God? Jessica Hottle shares how to manage difficult emotions while embracing your future with God’s love.


  • [4:38] Jessica’s Journey: Growing Up on an Emotional Rollercoaster 
  • [8:01] Jessica’s First Steps to Managing Her Emotions and Discovering Emotional Awareness 
  • [13:53] Releasing Control and Allowing God’s Love to Guide Us Through Painful Emotions
  • [17:21] The Relationship Between God’s Character and Our Identity in Christ as Part of Emotional Awareness and Healing 
  • [21:52] How Self-Awareness Plays a Role in Managing Emotions
  • [28:39] Jessica’s Tips on How to Best Manage Emotions

[4:38] Jessica’s Journey: Growing Up on an Emotional Rollercoaster

Jessica describes herself as the girl who used to always be an emotional rollercoaster, especially when she was around other people. If you were up, then she was up. If you were down, then she was down, too. She thought this was normal, coming from a rocky childhood where she witnessed things like physical, emotional, and drug abuse in her family. There was no emotional stability in the home, even though her parents tried their best for Jessica and her brother.

She says you don’t realize how important those things are in any relationship to feel safe and secure, so she began looking for outside sources to help her feel seen, loved, and stable. She sought attention from men.

From there, she started to ‘control’ different areas of her life, like her body and fitness business. So if something didn’t feel safe to her, the only way to change the outcome was to control it. 

This was the starting place for Jessica around her controlling behavior, anger, and resentment towards her childhood and how she grew up without stability. When she reached her 20s, she realized that she was blaming all of these things for how she acted and treated people today. It was a true wake-up call moment for her as it was the beginning of her healing journey.

Jess describes it as a perfect example of 1 Corinthians 13:11: “I used to speak like a child. But now I speak like an adult.” Jess shares that God can show us how these past experiences and ways of dealing with things aren’t actually healthy, and He is able to show us a new way.

[8:01] Jessica’s First Steps to Managing Her Emotions and Discovering Emotional Awareness

Jessica wasn’t introduced to the Lord until she was about 22. Her relationship with God wasn’t an overnight occurrence but a slow process. She describes herself as an independent young woman who had made her own decisions until this point in her life.  She didn’t know how to really read the Bible or how to find certain scriptures. She didn’t even know about the trinity – God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Jessica just knew there was God. Her favorite part of her ministry now is being able to help other women like her who didn’t grow up in church or didn’t come to the Lord until adulthood.

Jessica started doing things like tithing, going to church, and things like that that you’re supposed to do, but she was never taught who God actually is.

So how did God help Jessica discover more emotional awareness and better manage her emotions, despite her need to be in control? 

Jessica says when she stopped blaming others for her pain, the Lord was able to transform her heart. Before she’d held on to her self-righteousness with the pain she felt as if the world owed her something in return. So she realized that in order to begin managing her emotions differently  she first had to humble herself before God. 

The realization that her past experiences and the way she treated herself and others was the first part in God helping her peel back those layers of control. Also, at the time, she had met a man through a business mastermind, who she calls her spiritual coach, and he taught her the Bible in relation to her behavior and how to deal with that. 

She never had a father figure to show her right from wrong before and over the course of five years, he was able to teach her so much about the Bible and was able to show her how to let go of the pain she was living in from her unstable and emotional past. 

 [13:53] Releasing Control and Allowing God’s Love to Guide Us Through Painful Emotions

For Jessica to move through her emotions and pain, she had to understand that God was in control – not controlling. She had to realize that He is the God of relationship, not rules, and that there was stability in that relationship. That was the next step of letting God love her because she didn’t have that kind of safety and stability in relationships with her family. 

This learning process of getting to know her Heavenly Father helped her realize that she no longer had to do everything for herself.  Receiving His love was a way for Jessica to let down her guard and let His love in. 

She referenced a piece of scripture from the book of Jeremiah in the Bible about how God’s word is like a hammer – God’s word acts as a hammer and chips away at the wall(s) you’ve built up. Jess challenges us by asking: “In your relationship with Christ, are you constantly being renewed and transformed?” Jessica shares that we are to take the knowledge of God and learn to live our lives by the actions of Christ – His character and nature. 

[17:21] The Relationship Between God’s Character and Our Identity in Christ as Part of Emotional Awareness and Healing

In Jessica’s book, Face Off With Your Feelings, she mentions that our feelings have a safe place to land in God’s presence. However, we tend to think that the way other people treat us correlates to that of how God treats us. When we don’t have a personal relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ, it’s easy to think that God is only about justice and vengeance, but that’s not always the case. He can be compassionate, loving, and humorous too. 

So Jessica really had to learn who God was and is, and who He is to her. Through that process she learned that it was really rooted in identity. She loves talking to women about this aspect of the way we view God and how we view ourselves. We believe that “if I judge myself a certain way, then God will judge me in the same way,” and she says that’s incorrect.

Once she was able to understand God’s character, especially His faithfulness and trustworthiness, she began to be able to trust Him with her feelings. 

Jessica shares about God’s faithfulness in that He never uses our own words against us, and He never manipulates us. We know that we are safe because He sees our sins and, through Christ’a sacrifice, no longer holds those sins against us. 

When we have this understanding deep in our soul, Jessica explains, we have a sense of freedom to go to His throne of grace in boldness. We can trust that He understands what we go through.This truth freed Jessica to be humble and honest with her feelings and emotions because she knew she was safe with God. 

[21:52] How Self-Awareness Plays a Role in Managing Emotions

Self-awareness has played a huge role in not only Jessica’s life, but it can play a huge role in anyone’s life when trying to properly manage emotions. With self-awareness, we are able to recognize when we are acting on our emotions versus living from truth. Emotional awareness also allows us to humble ourselves to repent if things get out of control. 

“You may not always do the right thing, and that’s okay,” Jessica shares, “but you need to have that emotional self-awareness to say that you were wrong and ask for forgiveness from the other person.” 

It’s important that we know our emotional triggers, and recognize the way in which we respond to difficult emotions so that we can go to the Lord in trust and safety to work through it. Scripture talks about taking our thoughts captive, which means we are really taking our thoughts as a prisoner, going through interrogation with our thoughts, and properly burying our past with those emotions. 

Sometimes, especially in the body of Christ, Jessica says, we feel as though we shouldn’t have feelings, or that feelings are bad. However she has learned that when we do have triggering moments and live through our cycle of emotions, we can continue to use emotional awareness to be able to heal with God’s help and guidance.

Jess explains that we have to take ownership of our difficult emotions and feelings. There’s a push in the modern church towards always being happy and seeking a perfect life. But it’s also important to realize that God encourages us to go through those challenging emotions because that is when fruit is born. We don’t need to numb ourselves to difficult emotions because we are scared to deal with hurt feelings, but instead we can be encouraged to deal with difficult emotions and witness the fruit that comes from managing emotions with godly compassion.

[28:39] Jessica’s Tips on How to Best Manage Emotions

The first way that Jessica recommends managing emotions is to journal. When you journal your feelings, it allows you to process the situation and get it out of your head, she says. There are people who don’t journal for fear of others reading their journal, but as long as you make that known, she says, you can use journaling as a way to come to God and trust Him with your innermost feelings and thoughts to help you see your emotional triggers and develop godly character. 

The second way of managing emotions is the spiritual practice of coming to the awareness of our emotions and lining them up with God’s truth about them and asking Him for help in handling our situation. Also, Jessica has a saying that has stuck with her about preparing for war in times of peace. She says this mentality is a great way to keep ourselves emotionally healthy, emotionally self-aware  and prepared for future moments where we must work through difficult emotions. 

[33:29] Next Steps: Do You Feel Safe to Allow God to Help You Manage Your Emotions?

I want to highlight a part of this conversation with Jessica where we were talking about how God is in control, but He’s not controlling. There are times when we get stuck in our emotions and even trusting God because we think we aren’t safe. 

Those past situations of hurtful experiences are like baggage keeping us from truly entrusting God with our situation, but with the help of the Christian Mindset Makeover, in week two you learn how to have a different view point of who God really is. You also get to see what scripture says about who God is and the promises given to us about who He is. 

We allow our picture of God to be distorted in place of who He is as our Savior. We don’t want to judge ourselves in this, but instead we want to acknowledge this about our emotions so that we can move forward.

I want you to ask yourself today, “What is my view of God? Do I see Him as trustworthy? Do I feel safe in His presence?” I want you to let God speak to you about where your heart is at today and allow this to be an opportunity to lean on God.

If you have placed a barrier between you and God, I encourage you to spend some time listening, sharing, and confessing your thoughts with Him so that in asking for God’s help you can start on your road to recovery. 

Working through your emotions, as Jessica said, is a lifelong skill – mindset life skills as I’ve mentioned on the podcast before.

God created you to be in relationship with him, to understand and to work through those emotions inside of you, and to learn to step into that world and to let God use them as a way to grow closer to Him.

CONNECT WITH JESSICA on Managing Your Emotions



Jessica’s book: Face Off With Your Feelings

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