The Importance of Mental and Physical Health

Amber Ginter

iBelieve Contributing Writer
Updated May 20, 2024
The Importance of Mental and Physical Health

The purpose of pain also reminds me of my need for Someone beyond myself.

My stay in the hospital last Friday extended three times past what we expected. The four-hour drive to Fort Wayne, Indiana wasn't half as bad compared to the nine hours I spent on my back in the hospital bed. 

The day before my surgery was a blur. I resigned from my fifth and final year of teaching and now call myself a full-time author. I haven't had time to process this, but in due time, I know I will. 

Beyond writing and teaching, I wonder if I may not know who I am. Maybe my identity has been too closely tied to my job and future career aspirations. Maybe my identity has been more aligned with what's wrong with me than what's right. Because if I'm not a teacher or author, or someone with anxiety and depression, then who am I?

Half the battle is fighting fatigue from the procedure. I'm still not all the way "with it," but I'm thinking clearly enough to write. Stage 2 Excision of Endometriosis isn't for the faint of heart. The four neatly sewed stitches across my abdomen can testify to that. During my stay Friday evening, an IV transferred numerous drugs into my bloodstream. 

After the anxiety medication and muscle relaxers, my memory fades. I was telling my husband I loved him, and then I was waking up to pain searing through my small frame. It took the medical staff four hours to get the nausea and agony I experienced under control. Yet, I would call myself blessed. 

The Blessing of Caring for Your Physical Health

Endometriosis isn't a blessing. But if having a condition like Endometriosis means I'm more equipped and able to serve and support other women, then I would call that a reward. 

I think many of us, myself included, often forget that the purpose of pain reminds us to tend to our needs. The purpose of pain also reminds me of my need for Someone beyond myself. Endo Warriors will tell you they feel weak. But they are some of the strongest warriors I know. Endometriosis, among many other conditions, is one of the most painful conditions in the world

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12 that a thorn in the flesh enables God's power to shine through our weakness. When we're weak, that's when God can do His best work through us. Weakness doesn't feel good. It's typically accompanied by pain. Nothing about it is pleasant. But again, it's a blessing to care for your physical health. Even if the process itself is painful. What do I mean? Let me explain:

The excision of my Endometriosis was successful. Despite the extended stay, my doctor said I tolerated the procedures really well. They removed Stage 2 Endometriosis from my abdominal walls, intestines, fallopian tubes, and more. They also found cysts, adhesions, and a substantial amount of trapped gas in my intestines (all of which could be causing my chronic and incredibly painful GI issues).

The robotic procedure was completed with four incisions across my stomach (mentioned above). They also conducted a diagnostic hysteroscopy to check the lining of my uterus (everything was normal with that). I’ll be in recovery anywhere from 2+ weeks on, but we’re praying the tissue won’t grow back and I’ll have less pain overall.

Right now, I'm still in pain. This condition, recovery, and discomfort don't feel like a blessing. But I'm blessed to have found such a wonderful medical staff that listens and cares for me. I'm blessed that the surgery was covered by insurance. I'm blessed that I tolerated the procedure well. 

The suffering I feel daily is never enjoyable. But I'm blessed to recognize that my physical health needs care and attention. The same goes for our mental well-being. 

The Blessing of Caring for Your Mental Health

In the past few paragraphs, I've described two events: leaving teaching and enduring surgery. Both may seem random to you, but what do teaching and Endometriosis have to do with my mental health? 

Sometimes, the blessing of caring for our physical and mental health means we just need to stop and heal. 

At least that’s what my body told me five years ago. Yet, instead of listening, I shoved the idea out of my mind and worked harder. I ignored the pain, swallowed half a dozen more 800-mg ibuprofen, and pushed myself to the max. Character breeds habit. 

A few years into this cycle, I realized the words my Memo always told me were true: “You’re doing too much.” Maybe the reality was, I wasn’t doing too much but trying to be too much:





All are hats I’ve worn in the past few years, but what have I got to show for them?

-Subclinical Hypothyroidism

-Anxiety and Depression


-Stage 2 Endometriosis

-Vasovagal Syncope

-An addiction to productivity

-An inability to stop

And the list goes on and on.

But what I’ve learned is this:

Our mental and physical well-being matter. And they must matter more to us than our job, the money we make, or the status we try to uphold. Regardless of these things, I'm Amber. I'm a child of God. I have a purpose, and God has a plan for me. He desires me to care for myself. He doesn't desire for me to do all the things. 

We aren’t created to do everything. We’re created to do what we can today.

So this month, I chose to do what I could for this day:

-I resigned from teaching.

-I had surgery for Stage 2 Endometriosis.

-I decided to trust God and write full-time as an author.

-I took time to rest and heal.

Granted, I’m still struggling. 

I’m still healing.

I’m still learning what the Sabbath and caring for my mental and physical health looks like for me. 

But here’s to listening to my body before it breaks. Here’s to taking time to stop and heal. Here’s to the importance of mental and physical health—before it's too late. 

What do you need to do for this day?

Just Two Things

I wanted to share my story because I want everyone to know two things:

1. The importance of mental and physical health is going to be unique to you. There are diagnoses, conditions, and situations in life that only you will face, and only God can equip you to go through them. But when you go through them, I want you to recognize the blessing in them. Not that the pain or horrible things experienced are blessings, but that God can use them for His glory and your good. 

2. Caring for your mental and physical health may take time. It took me seven years to get a proper diagnosis of Endometriosis. Doctor after doctor told me I was normal and that “everyone has painful periods.” This isn’t true and is completely dismissive. Please don’t give up. Advocate for yourself. I know what it’s like to experience debilitating pain physically and mentally and have people tell you you’re crazy or making it up. But you’re not. Your pain matters. And you deserve help.

Mental and physical suffering don't always include hospital stays like my surgery, but they're every bit as important. And maybe if they did, we'd begin to take them more seriously. 

Caring for both is essential to your overall well-being. Have you struggled to prioritize your physical and mental health? What experiences have led you to realize this? What steps will you take today to prioritize both?

Agape, Amber

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/PeopleImages

amber ginter headshotAmber Ginter is a teacher-turned-author who loves Jesus, her husband Ben, and granola. Growing up Amber looked for faith and mental health resources and found none. Today, she offers hope for young Christians struggling with mental illness that goes beyond simply reading your Bible and praying more. Because you can love Jesus and still suffer from anxiety. You can download her top faith and mental health resources for free to help navigate books, podcasts, videos, and influencers from a faith lens perspective. Visit her website at