Today’s episode is special to me because my guest’s historical fiction books are some of my all-time favorite novels!

These days, many of us struggle with anxiety to some degree, and that’s what we’re talking about in this episode.

Joining me for this conversation is award-winning author and Bible teacher Tessa Afshar. Drawing from lessons she learned while battling anxiety in her own life, Tessa is sharing about the journey that cultivates a well-rested soul.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Tessa’s story of coming to faith from a Muslim background
  • The connection between burnout and anxiety
  • Tessa’s career as a writer
  • And more!

I hope you enjoy our conversation!

Resources mentioned in this episode:


My Key Takeaways:

1) God reaches people in a variety of ways. In her 20s, Tessa encountered Jesus in a vivid dream. She also experienced His love through others’ kindness to her. These were two pivotal experiences that helped lead her to faith. Many of us have loved ones we’re praying will come to know Jesus; remember, there’s no limit to the ways God can work to reveal Himself. We can trust that God is pursuing our loved ones. When we interact with those who don’t know Jesus, there is great power when we choose to enter into their world instead of expecting them to come our way.

2) Anxiety is often caused by internal wounds, not external circumstances. We are not meant to work beyond our capacity as a habitual way of life. If we have a root fear, such as fear of abandonment, we can begin to measure ourselves by unrealistic internal standards that push us to achieve, prove ourselves, or please others. When we live this way for too long, burnout and anxiety go hand in hand. Knowing our wounds and the root causes of our motivation is an important step in being released from our anxiety.

3) Sometimes, God’s rescue comes in ways we do not expect. In the Bible we see God rescue Joseph first from the pit, then from prison. The lesson here is that we have to endure hardship in order to reach the point of being rescued. We have to hit the bottom in order to realize our need for healing and be ready to receive it. Christian counseling, prayer, and doing the work of asking “why do I feel this way?” are key tools to help us do the work of finding healing.

About Tessa:

Tessa Afshar is the Publishers Weekly best-selling author of historical and biblical fiction. Tessa’s books have received the Christy, INSPY, and ECPA Christian Book of the Year (Bible Study category) Awards, and are Carol, Christy, and ECPA Christian Book Award finalists. Tessa was born to a nominally Muslim family in the Middle East and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She then moved to England before immigrating to the United States. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds a Master of Divinity from Yale. She served in women and prayer ministries for twenty years before becoming a full-time writer. Tessa is a devoted wife, a mediocre gardener, and an enthusiastic cook of biblical recipes.






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