Emily Belle Freeman



Journey Upstream

Sometimes you happen to be at just the right spot at just the right time. And sometimes those moments align in such a way to teach profound lessons.

The day we stood on the side of a small stream the flows out of Chalk Creek and into a small pond.  Quiet, without moving, we watched the fish hiding there under the current, trying to swim up stream.


It's a crazy thing to witness, the determination that comes when you are swimming against the current.

We watched for long minutes as the fish gathered strength, pushing forward, tail holding it steady against the spring runoff.

"That fish must be exhausted," Nate whispered as he watched.  "It can't stop.  It has to push forward.  Otherwise It would be washed all the way back, back where it started, it would have to start over again."

And sometimes I feel like I am walking against the current.

I watch more carefully now.  Because that fish?  It has to gain enough strength to make it past this.


And it doesn't seem possible.  And none of us can take our eyes off the fish.  Off the possibility.  Off the determination.  Because the fish is trying to return to the place of it's birth.  That is where the spawning will occur.  And that is why this fish is swimming upriver.

That fish is predisposed to journey upstream.

My heart feels that same pull.

Upstream waters are calmer.

It happens in an instant.  The fish holding steady in the current disappears into the foam.  There is a flash of sunlight that glints off of it's scales as it glides over the rocks that make up the waterfall.

Before we know it that fish has moved from one calm eddy to the next, skimming through the waterfall in seconds.

Then it settles into the calmer waters to gather strength again.  Back and forth, the constant motion  pushing forward, tail holding it steady against the spring runoff.  And I know it will pause there just long enough until its ready.

Ready for the next waterfall ahead.

Eventually the journey will end where still waters lie.

I know that journey.  Sometimes we have to swim against the current.  Journey upstream.

We have to push forward, hold steady against the runoff.

Because the world is changing.  Opinions crash down around us with a force that could send us backward if we're not careful.

Ahead there is the promise of calmer waters.

These waters that cause contention? That are riff with discontent? These are not His waters.

"He leadeth beside the still waters."  (Psalms 23:2)

My soul longs to find Him.





Emily Freeman