I saw this wheel today as I explored a fun, local restaurant site, White Fence Farms, and was immediately drawn to it. First of all, Alan loved farm equipment, antiques, and unusual items, so objects in these categories remind me of him. As I looked at it, I realized the wagon wheel had some similarities to the grief journey.
The rim that circles around represents the person who is spinning in grief. Your life seems to keep going around and around, oftentimes seemingly out of control. There are moments when all you want is to run and hide from the loneliness, fear, and pain that are so prominent after experiencing a loss. You would give anything to make time go backwards so you could have one more day and another conversation with your loved one.
However, none of those desires are possible. You are forced to continue traveling on a hard path. But then something happens. You realize you have people who come alongside you to give encouragement, support, and perhaps just a shoulder upon which to cry. The spokes of the wheel symbolize these special individuals. As they make connections with you, they add support and help you stand strong. Their interactions in your life add stabilization to a world that now seems quite unpredictable and wobbly.
Looking again at the construction of the wheel, you notice the rim and spokes all connect with the center hub. In order to walk with sure steps, we must be anchored securely to a firm foundation. If that hub were taken away, the wagon wheel would collapse, falling apart, pieces flying in all directions.
I am grateful for the hub of my life, Jesus Christ. He has provided my friends and family who add strength and stability to my world when I lack the ability to continue forward on my own. No one need travel the hard journey of grief alone. Be honest and open with those around you when they ask how they can help. Put your pride aside and voice your needs and concerns. Expecting others to automatically know what you need only leads to disappointment when their efforts fall short.
Who are the special people in your life? Draw the wagon wheel and put names alongside the lines of the spokes. Then honestly answer the question of who or what is your wagon wheel hub. If it is anything or anyone other than Christ, perhaps it is time to re-examine and re-evaluate where you are placing your trust.
The grief journey is long and can be very difficult. Having the wagon wheel in good repair is essential to smoothing out your trip.
Until next time –
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