Grieving: When a Child Goes to Heaven

What do you do when your precious five-year-old daughter suddenly dies from a severe asthma attack? 

Pastor Levi Lusko and his wife, Jennie, after leaving the hospital where there beloved daughter Lenya Avery had just been declared dead, walked back through the hospital doors and invited the attending physicians, nurses and EMTs to their church’s Christmas service–only 4 days away.  Through tears, Levi told them, “If you come to the service, I will preach it.” 

And he did.  He preached it. 

Levi says, “It’s what Lenya would have wanted.”   

In the midst of pain, confusion, frustration and unfathomable sorrow, Levi, told the congregation during that Christmas Eve service, “Lenya is alive this moment, more alive than she has ever been.  She is on a distant shore with Christ!”

Levi and Jennie visited The Cove last week and shared their hearts with our staff during morning devotions.  Lenya Avery had gone to Heaven only two short months earlier.  

What did we hear that day? 

We heard that the Luskos love God, they trust God, and they trust God’s plan. 


We also heard:

There will be tearsIt is ok to be real with your feelings, your emotions.  It is important to mourn because it shows the world how much you loved the one who is no longer here, and the world watches how “we” get through the tough times. 

See the invisible. You must intentionally choose to see with eyes of faith.  Intend to see what is ‘not seen’. 

Don’t wait until the storm to make the wise preparations.  We need to train for the trials we are not yet in.  When you start ‘killin’ it’ for God (doing His will) you will have trials.  Now is the time for preparation.  You don’t train for a marathon once it begins! 

Set your mind on things above.  God trusts us with trials.  He will use them for His treasure.  He has plans for every single piece. 

Levi shared the good that has come from Lenya’s death, “People have made professions of faith because of her death.  Fathers are training and teaching their children differently because they realize that time is short.” 

Are you prepared for the next storm in your life? 

There are two things you can count on:
1. Storms will come.
2. God will be there. 

Please join us as we lift the Luskos in prayer during this sorrowful time. 

Click here to view Lenya’s Celebration of Life page.

Update (December 20, 2014): Click here to read Levi’s heart on the one-year anniversary of Lenya’s homegoing.

Click here if you would like to learn more about Pastor Levi Lusko’s multi-site church, Fresh Life, in Montana. 

7 thoughts on “Grieving: When a Child Goes to Heaven”

  1. Dear Levi and Jennie, My prayers and heart go out to you. I too have a grand-daughter,(more like a daughter) Megan Taylor Grant went to Heaven December 20, 2005, age 13 of a virus.
    I am blessed today by your testimony. As we were in the hospital for weeks, one pastor in particular prayed with me daily. Each day, he would whisper, “Trust God”. I really didn’t understand the full concept of trusting God, until later. I was angry, hurt, disappointed, and oh in so much pain. You are right. Through this storm, He holds me tightly under His wings, and covers me with His peace.
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own unnderfstanding Proverbs 3:5
    I would love to get updates about you and your family. I would also like to know more about your ministry. I don’t believe in coincedence, I believe in God’s plan.
    Megan loves children. She was a cheerleader and I just feel she is one of many that God sends to greet children as they pass through the water. This is not our home, our children are home and we are working our way there. This life is only for a minute and when our purpose is served, our Father will take us home to all our family.
    God Bless and continue to wrap you in His wings.

    In Christain Love
    Toni Grant
    (MIMMOM)

  2. I so very much needed this. I lost a 32 year old son last august that had been in the hospital for a year. he had been born with cancer and died from complications from surguries he died cancer free . He had a hard life and i am on immunotherapy for lukemia. His death was sudden and not expected, this touches my heart because i know the greif of loosing a child, i was in church the following week after his death and try to stay faithful through the pain. thank you for sharing this

  3. May God continue to bless you and your wife with the faith he has given you both! what a blessing and inspiration you both are! I seek a life full of God, I am going through some really hard tribulations and trials with my 15 year son, but I know that God has a plan for him, I know that no matter how hard it may look through the eyes of the flesh, I know that God is with him and is with me giving the strength I need to continue in his love! I know your little angel is with our Father and will greet you both at the door of Heaven one day! God bless you both now and forever!!! you both are the true examples of a Christian walk not the talk!

  4. I can’t tell you how much your family has affected my life. I was going to skull church in kalispell I was living glin a group home there I was lost hurting and a scared girl. I was going to ur Sunday services and gave my life to Jesus I Would like to thank you for being incredible strong people

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