By Dr. April Minatrea - Clinical PsychologistJan 09, 2019

The Process of Breakthrough

We are in a season of breakthrough. Change is in the air. It’s happening in our minds and hearts.  Prayers are being answered—including some things we have been praying about for years. Things are shifting to move us closer to our hearts’ desires and our destinies.

As this occurs, it is easy to get excited and get our hopes up. Yet, it is important to understand the relationship between process and breakthrough so that our hope is well-placed. No matter what breakthrough you are contending for, here are three things to keep in mind:

1. Process leads to breakthrough.

We tend to think of breakthrough as something that happens suddenly, but often that “suddenly” is preceded by a process during a long season of waiting. As the saying goes, it takes years to become an overnight success! Typically, the duration and intensity of the process is proportional to the promotion it is preparing you for.

Consider a few historical examples:

  • Abraham, the patriarch of three major world religions (Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam), waited 25 years for his promised son to be born. His wife Sarah was childless until she was 90. He was 100 years old when Isaac was born.
  • Joseph (the guy with the amazing Technicolor dream coat) waited 22 years to see the realization of the dreams he had as a teenager. He spent 13 years in slavery and in prison before becoming prime minister over Egypt. (For a similar modern example, think about Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison before being released and becoming President of South Africa.)
  • King David waited more than a decade to come to power. Not long after God promised him the throne, he was running for his life from Saul.

Notice, in all these cases, the circumstances looked completely opposite of the destiny God promised them.

So if there is something you have been waiting a long time for—especially if it looks impossible right now—take heart!

If this is God’s plan for your life, you are right on track, and it will come to pass in due time.

In the meantime, be grateful for the time to prepare. Ladies, imagine getting ready for a fancy night out and your date arriving way too early—while you’re half-dressed with wet hair and no makeup! (Guys, you don’t want this any more than we do!) Or imagine getting ready for a big presentation at work next week and then finding out it’s been moved up to this afternoon—before you even have all the data, much less your slide deck together! Sooner rather than later is not always good. Premature is dangerous for babies and for destinies.

2. Breakthrough IS a process.

We tend to think of breakthrough as an instant “Poof!” but it is usually a process in itself. Vince Viozzi describes three phases that often occur when we are making big life changes:
  • Breaking OFF – Removing internal barriers—patterns of thinking and behavior that have been keeping you stuck.
  • Breaking THROUGH – Removing external barriers—circumstances, people, and other obstacles that have been holding you back or standing in your way.
  • Breaking OUT – Stepping into the new way of life.

What we label as “breakthrough” is often the final phase of breaking out—where some big external change becomes evident. Yet, that change can’t happen without the pruning that takes places in earlier stages. When we view clearing away the old to make space for the new as part of the breakthrough, it allows us to be excited about the breakthrough happening internally long before our outward circumstances change.

Remember, you are where you are because of what you believe. Whenever you are shifting your beliefs, you are in the process of changing your life’s course!

3. Breakthrough leads to more process!

Often we set our sights on a particular outcome and think everything will be different once that big thing finally happens. That may be true…but it doesn’t mean that the game is over.

Consider our earlier examples. Abraham waited 25 years for Isaac…then had to diapers to change! He had a son to raise and an heir to prepare. Joseph and David (and Mandela) waited years to rise to power…then had nations to govern!

Think about even a simple love story. Boy meets girl. Both have been waiting a long time, looking for “the one.” Finally, they move out of the friend zone and go out on that first date. Breakthrough! But that’s not the end of the story. The breakthrough of the first date leads to the process of dating. Eventually he pops the question and she says yes. Breakthrough! That breakthrough leads to the process of being engaged and planning a wedding. Finally, they stand at the altar. Their whole lives have led up to this moment. A dream come true. They get married and promise to love each other ‘til death do us part. Breakthrough! And that breakthrough leads to the process of being married…waking up next to each other and learning to live out “happily ever after” one day at a time…

By all means, celebrate your milestones! Believe for breakthrough, press in, and cheer up and down when that thing you have been waiting for and working toward finally happens.

But remember that each finish line is a start line, too.

EMBRACE THE PROCESS as well as the breakthrough!