Life as a young boy living in Omaha with parents who had childhood traumas was a challenge for Jason Rumbaugh. While his parents tried to process through their trauma, they also tried to be loving and supportive to their sons while attending a local church. They did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He and his younger brother were in Eagle Scouts and played numerous sports. Jason, however, felt awkward and shame growing up. His brain told him intrusive thoughts and he had to do odd compulsions such as checking and rechecking the stove knobs or door locks over and over even though the numerous previous times were completed. He would find out much later in life that he had an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The more he did the ritual rechecking, the urge to recheck again and again, the more it became stronger. OCD intrusive thoughts and compulsions came in episodes throughout his younger years. He always did these rechecks when nobody was around so he did not feel shame.
His senior year in high school, Jason decided to stop going to church. His thought was “why go if you don’t believe.” One night in December 2002, after receiving a phone call, Jason was driving to the emergency room not knowing if his father would make it by the time he got there. His dad had been hit and flipped over by a car going 60 miles per hour while walking across a neighborhood street with his wife and two dogs. Jason cried out to God for the first time with a passionate prayer, “God, I don’t know who you are but if you save my dad, I’ll go to a church to discover who you are.” His dad miraculously survived with not a single bone broken in his body but severely bruised. A few days later, customers of his dad (who were true believers and followers of Jesus Christ) visited their home bringing with them food and words of encouragement and an invite to Christ Community Church. Jason accepted the invite and got plugged into the college ministry. Jason had a lot of questions. The church was starting a group study on “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. So he not only got the book but also signed up to lead a group discussion. During the reading and leading of the discussion group, Jason gave his life to God and pure joy poured into his life.
After experiencing the joy only given in and through Jesus Christ, Jason quickly began to understand that the real battle was only beginning. Some issues were grounded in sin and other issues had to do with early childhood trauma and OCD that was still undiagnosed. A couple of years later, Jason began to experience intrusive thoughts about doubts of his salvation in Christ. He sought the counsel of his pastor and at that time he reassured Jason of his salvation. However, this reassurance was actually counterproductive and harmful for people with OCD-Scrupulosity.
A few more years went by and Jason, while serving in the military, was deployed to Iraq. At that time, Jason started to become focused on ministry versus having a healthy balance of GODLY mentoring, faith, work, family, and life. A loss of a job, being asked to leave a ministry he so dearly loved and then a breakup with a girlfriend made things worse. Jason sought the advise of his Christian mentor and the mentor said to him (later discovered he had his own mental health issues and had hidden alcoholism), “If you don’t change your ways, you will lose your soul.” Jason’s intrusive thoughts reignited which urged him to compulsively worry about his salvation again. Jason found himself obsessing. From 2014-2019, Jason lost a great deal of weight, wasn’t sleeping well, and experienced frequent body trembles and panic attacks. The intrusive thoughts became blasphemous and the unpardonable sin verse felt condemning. Jason began praying for hours and rereading and researching to reassure himself of Jesus’ unconditional love for him.
“All of this felt like a thief breaking in and suffocating and killing me,” Jason shared. “We can all have these thoughts but when you take out of context one verse, you see God from not a heavenly father, but an angry father. I was scared to go to the pastors because I didn’t want them to confirm my worse fear of being damned to hell for these thoughts.”
Jason was tired of the pain and worry and later that year, he asked his City Group leader for help. Jason told him what he was thinking, and the leader confirmed what Jason was feeling with a name for his compulsions… Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Scrupulosity. Jason’s City Group leader dealt with the exact same thing. He spoke truth and grace and for the first time Jason did not feel alone and scared. He felt hope. When his City Group leader was being transferred due to the military, he got Jason connected with Paul from No Shame Mental Health Ministry which started after the death via suicide of a near and dear church member, Mark Jensen. After meeting with Paul, Jason started attending the No Shame group.
At the No Shame Mental Health Ministry it is what the title says: there is no shame when you come to the group. The group doesn’t turn away anyone who is seeking the Lord. No Shame Ministries is a place where you can share everyday struggles, walk together, love & support one another, and learn from each other how to apply God’s Word to your life. It was through those first few weeks that Jason was given support. Jason also found encouragement with the No Shame Mental Health Ministry model and addressing key issues within each ring. No Shame promotes that change occurs in/outward versus the world’s viewpoint of outward/in. Jason began attending No Shame weekly. He started eating better, exercising, and improving his sleeping habits. However, the intrusive blasphemous thoughts were still there and again, they became debilitating to the point Jason would be on the ground in a fetal position for hours in dreadful fear and panic.
After 8 years on this relentless roller coaster ride, Jason walked into the doctor’s office in February 2022 and signed a medical document. Jason shared this,
“I appointed Larry, one of the leaders at No Shame, to speak for me and advocate for me. I finally decided then and there that I’ve done everything I can. At that time, I was trying to do all the practical steps to take care of myself but with no medication. I felt shame. I decided medication was the next step and since being on medication, it’s been a blessing! It’s helped calm my mind. While medication has helped my symptoms, it doesn’t answer the heart issues within me. Medication gives me time to rethink God and how He sees me.”
Years of being fed bad theology, suffering traumatic experiences, not having good accountability partners, nor healthy community just “fed” Jason’s OCD. With a community and the help of medication, his compulsions and thoughts have become now whispers and shadows instead of loud voices and roadblocks.
“I am nowhere near healed,” Jason confessed, “but God has worked in me and has navigated me to No Shame. And it doesn’t stop there. I now mentor other young men. My pain has been redeemed.”
Through Jason’s OCD – Scrupulosity, God has revealed to Jason a healthy, Bible-believing community, tools and awareness with taking care of his body and taking medication, and he has learned to trust.
“In life, I wanted quick fixes and now, I appreciate God’s timing,” Jason said with relief. “If God miraculously healed me years ago, I would not have met some of my closest friends. I potentially wouldn’t have a lifelong ministry to serve in as I do now. Nor the privilege of educating the church and helping others who have this. Just this past year, I’ve come across nine others who have this.”
Most people who have initial trauma or are just in the beginning of walking with mental health issues, they wait a decade until they get help. They suffer in silence. Jason would like to see that dramatically reduced.
“The Church can be a beacon of hope,” Jason shared. “Why can’t the Church be the leader of the mental health epidemic? I think we can. In the meantime, I want others to know God’s Word is divine and God doesn’t contradict himself. His forgiveness goes on for eternity and he doesn’t want you to suffer. Please be intentional with getting into community.”
Anyone can attend No Shame. Any age, believer or non believer. No Shame is also a source of encouragement and a resource for people who have a family member or friend that is affected by mental illness. It is also a source for parents, for children and for young adults. It’s a great place to start to understand how the Church can help and serve these members of the Body. Jason wants the Church to know they are invited.
“Let’s have a conversation. No titles and you come to the group as a child of God. The group is a great resource for City Group leaders on the basics of mental health characteristics. If someone says they struggle with these kinds of thoughts, those leaders will know how to identify them and what to do. Also, an awareness of how to support these groups preached from the pulpit and directing men and women in the Church that have a specialty to walk alongside these members with mental illness. At No Shame, we aren’t doctors or professionals, but we model as a mental health coach. We encourage and provide resources for that person, for those leaders and family members. That way people in our Church know the signs and symptoms and have resources on how to direct. That would help the Body of Christ!”
Life is joyful for Jason. He has a relationship with the Lord that is deeper and stronger than it has ever been and praise God! He has a greater appreciation of what God has allowed to happen in his life so that he can experience God’s love. Jason also has a community. The No Shame Mental Health Ministry has opened his heart, his mind and now his future. Jason has his site on becoming a mental health coach and an advocate for others. Through this, Jason is thankful. He concludes with this:
“I know there are more people hurting in our church and my plea is for those people to stop sitting in silent suffering and reach out to someone. Be bold and take that first step. And then to the congregation, if you don’t know what to say when someone says they struggle with a mental health issue but want help, reach out and walk alongside them until they find the help they need.”
No Shame Ministry provides support for a wide range of mental health issues. For more information on the No Shame Ministry and group, please visit noshameministries.org