1. Category Archive: Lenya Avery

    “alive in Christ!” (roar stories)

    I’ve been in awe of the stories that have been pouring in recently.  I just wanted to highlight one such “roar story” that was super special to me:

    “Right after Christmas a childhood friend posted a link to your message on Facebook saying ‘days after my pastor’s five-year-old daughter passed away unexpectedly he gave the best message I have ever heard.’ Having two young children of my own that sentence grabbed me, so I watched it. By the end I was bawling because every word was ringing true in my life. Standing in my kitchen I gave my life to Christ. I am happy to say I have never felt more alive in Christ. I am so thankful God led me back to him through Fresh Life. Thank you Pastor Levi and Jennie. Through the story of your sweet Lenya going to heaven, and your testament of faith through it, God grabbed my attention. I am so thankful for this new life I have in Him because of it.”


  2. Category Archive: Lenya Avery

    Through the Eyes of a Lion


    I was just telling my husband on a date night, that I’m in awe of what we get to do.  I say it all the time, and I’ll always say it, that I can’t believe we get to live this life and do the things God has called us to and asked us to be a part of.

    Of course as a whole, our story is beautiful, because God is at work and is doing what He does best: taking broken vessels and using them powerfully.  But each part doesn’t feel beautiful.  There are dark, painful moments that are intertwined with the bright and wonderful ones, and God in His wisdom and power and strength is doing what only He can do to make them all blend together, for His glory.

    With everything God has already done in our lives, and with all of the things we anticipate Him doing, I am so thankful that my husband poured his soul into the writing of his book, Through the Eyes of a Lion.  He conveys our story, his struggle, God’s power, and perspective and plan in our pain.  And it is a powerful book that I believe will help countless people who are experiencing grief and pain in the many different ways it shows up in our lives.

    I believe God will change the way people see their trials and view their pain. And He will greatly change people’s vision to see that God has a purpose for the pain, and that Heaven is near, and we have a certain amount of time to walk in His calling for our lives.

    Be sure to get your copy at and and anywhere that sells books!  I encourage you to get an extra copy to give away to a friend too – it’s a powerful tool!

    Thank you to everyone on our Street Team who has written such beautiful notes and posted about the book.  What a life we get to live, right?! Love you all!

  3. Category Archive: Lenya Avery

    comfort one another with these words

    IMG_9139My husband has a very special way with words and he just wrote an incredible blog with such a strong and beautiful perspective (like he always does), so you should go read that for sure at his blog,

    I just want to say thank you to all of you who are praying, to all of you who have just been so generous and kind with your love and words and prayers.  I was talking with a woman the other day about how incredibly humbling it is when the body of Christ surrounds you with prayer.  It’s beautiful.

    I want to say that there is no hope found anywhere except for in Jesus Christ. There is no peace that passes understanding except from our God who created us and knows us and loves us and holds us. There are no words of comfort except for in God’s Word, and this passage, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18 bring just that:

    “And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.

    And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.”

    I miss the Lenya Bird, but I know exactly where she is, and I know we will see her soon and very soon.  Every day brings us closer.

  4. Category Archive: Lenya Avery

    Jesus Loves Me


    It was probably two o’clock in the morning and I remember holding my little 9 month-old Lenya close, rocking her in my arms, praying that God would take away her discomfort and heal her little body.  She was at her worst and was just so uncomfortable and fussy. It was right before we brought her to the Spokane Children’s Hospital where she was diagnosed with “failure to thrive.”

    That night as I held my second born daughter close, I wept while I sang “Jesus Loves Me” to her.  It calmed her and she fell asleep, but it also calmed me, because I remember clearly, at that moment, how God reminded me that “little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.” And this simple song that I have known my whole life, had become a true comfort to me.

    I still struggle at times with the fact that Lenya was getting better before she went to Heaven.  It’s one of those things I have to keep surrendering to my God who loves me and who is in control, when it’s too much for me.  Looking back, God certainly graciously gave me a glimpse of her getting better, right before she became perfectly healthy in His very presence.

    A few days after she died in my husbands arms and went to Heaven immediately to be with the Lord, this song came to my mind, along with the memories of that night with my baby Lenya. I love how God, in His goodness, reminds us of His perfect love in the simplest ways.

    It wasn’t until recently that I found the full original version of this hymn on Wikipedia by Anna Bartlett Warner who lived in the 1800’s. These lyrics were spoken as comforting words to a dying child:

    “Jesus love me – this I know, for the Bible tells me so;

    Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong.

    Jesus loves me – loves me still, though I’m weak and very ill;

    From His shining throne on high, comes to watch me where I lie.

    Jesus loves me – He will stay, close beside me all the way.

    Then His little child will take, up to heaven for His dear sake.”

    And later, William Batchelder Bradbury added:

    “Jesus love me – He who died, Heaven’s gates to open wide;

    He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in.

    Yes, Jesus loves me!

    Yes, Jesus loves me!

    Yes, Jesus loves me!

    The Bible tells me so.”

    He loves us, and He comforts us, and He is good. He is so good that in the midst of tumultuous anxiety and painful memories, we can actually delight in His comfort.

    “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19

    Thank you Lord for Your unending, steadfast Love.

    photo 2-7 photo 1-8

  5. Category Archive: Lenya Avery

    He gives and takes away…


    …blessed be His holy name.

    I was recently in Spokane with my husband and after he had finished preaching, and as I was walking to the foyer of the venue, a young woman with a little boy in her arms, along with her husband stopped me and introduced herself to me.  She said that she and her husband have followed our story and have been so blessed, and then she said they had driven six hours to hear my husband preach that night. Wow!

    The next thing she told me took me by surprise and took my breath away  a little.  She said, “And this is my son Elias, and he was born the same day Lenya went to Heaven.  So his birthday is December 20, 2012.”  Tears filled my eyes while I looked at this almost 17 month old baby boy, and my immediate words to her were, “what an incredible example of how the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”

    The girls and I read this kids devotional book called, Thoughts That Make My Heart Sing, by Sally Lloyd Jones. One of the devotionals in it say how we have three birthdays. The first is our physical birthday – the day we were born into this world. Then there is our spiritual birthday – the day we are born again and made alive in Christ.  Then there is the day when we move from this earth to Heaven.  I couldn’t help but think that just how this little boy has been on this earth for almost 17 months, Lenya has been in Heaven for almost 17 months and how the same day was simultaneous birthdays for these two.  I was overwhelmed by how time has gone by, and overwhelmed by God’s love and grace in this moment.

    I’m just so thankful that God is so in control, and that He is good, no matter what – in life and in death, in joy and in pain.

    He gives and He takes away. So my heart will choose to say, “Blessed be Your name!”


     “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.  The Lord gives and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

    Job 1:21