ready for heaven

photo 3-3

We get our children ready for school. We get them dressed and ready for church. We get them ready for soccer practice or ballet class. We get them ready for college, and their wedding day. But getting our children ready for Heaven? Especially when they go there before you? It’s not something you want to plan for.

I wish we had more time to prepare Lenya for Heaven, and I wish I had more time to prepare myself for saying good bye, but regardless of my regrets, I know that we did indeed prepare her the best we could.

Today is the day that marks Lenya being in Heaven for one year – three hundred sixty-five days.  When I said goodbye to her that night so that I could go wrap the girls’ Christmas presents, I didn’t know that would be the last time I’d say good bye to her.  And although, we weren’t ready for her to go, she was ready. You see, Lenya was born into a family who centers our lives around Jesus. Not a perfect family, no way, but a family who believes in Jesus as their Savior, and who knows that our hearts and minds were meant to be set toward Heaven. Lenya was planted in the house of the Lord, and as my husband says, it’s not because he’s a pastor, it’s because he’s a Christian.

We learned Bible verses at home, and she learned Bible verses at church. We talked about Heaven all the time.  We would talk about how Jesus was the only way to Heaven.  We would talk about how she wouldn’t have allergies in Heaven, and that she could eat whatever she wanted. Heaven was in our vocabulary all the time, and I’m SO thankful for that.

While we weren’t ready to send her to Heaven when God decided to take her there, we know she was ready. Although it’s painful that we can’t see her and hold her now, we know she is with Jesus, and that Jesus is continuing to make us ready for Heaven.  Just as my husband has preached, “Jesus isn’t just preparing a place for us, but He’s preparing us for that place.”

photo 2-5

I want so much to get Lenya ready for the day again. I want to get her ready for ballet again, putting her hair up in her cute little bun. But we readied her for Heaven, and she’s now in the target, safe in God’s presence, and now we have three beautiful little hearts still in the quiver who we have the responsibility to prepare  to dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

“if then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-3


  • Amberly Tanzosh


  • Ashley Martin

    So much love to you all. Thank you for always sharing your heart without abandon. Standing with you in hope today.

  • Janice Perl

    love you Jennie. Grieving with you and rejoicing all at the same time.

    • jennie lusko

      I love you Janice 🙂

  • Nicole Burdick

    Though I only met your husband briefly and never had the opportunity to get to know the rest of your family before I left Montana, I have heard your story through my friends. My heart goes out to you, is broken for you, and you are in my prayers! I pray for comfort, strength, hope, and sweet, healing moments in the arms of Jesus.

    • jennie lusko

      Thank you so much Nicole, so much love to you!

  • disqus_iiJA8mzWtJ

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. We are thinking of Heaven where our Lord is and we long for Him. Marry Christmas!

  • mrandmrsmad

    My husband and I listen to Pastor Levi’s messages online (we’re in LA) and have been praying for your family. We recently welcomed our very own Lenya Jean into our family on 12/15. Her due date for the entire pregnancy was 12/20. We knew this was a confirmation to name her after a little girl who loved Jesus. We desire our daughter to wholly love Jesus and be a witness to adults like your Lenya Avery. When people ask about her name, we share Christ through your {her} story. God is at work and you are all a blessing to us.

    • jennie lusko

      this is incredible! thank you so much for writing and sharing this. I’m really in awe of how good God is, and how your sweet Lenya Jean’s due date was 12/20! If you wouldn’t mind writing and telling us this story at and giving us your information. This is just so special 🙂 so much love to you!

  • Kathy Curran Weller

    You are inspiiration to people hurting around the world. I’m so thankful for you are your faith and your amazing strength. I’m sorry for your pain my heart aches for you.

    • jennie lusko

      thank you Kathy – He is so good 🙂

  • thrivephoto

    I first heart Levi preach while watching Elevation Church live on a Sunday. I was so immediately drawn to him as he preached his message on Turning Off the Dark. Since then I have listened to countless sermons and have been so greatly touched by the way you have lived your lives in the wake of this tragedy. It has changed my perspective in a way that has me far more focused on things eternal than ever before and for that I am grateful. I know you would have never chosen this circumstance, but the way you have been obedient to God’s word is beyond is incredible and I hope that you all feel constant love and encouragement. I know you have and will continue to point people to Jesus. I pray that in times you feel despair that your eyes are lifted and your hearts are mended.

    • jennie lusko

      thank you so much for sharing how God is speaking to you and moving in and through you! it’s incredible what He is up to 🙂

  • Jeremy Roberts

    As parents of children with food allergies we’ve been touched by your story. We hope to meet your sweet family when you make it to Prestonwood next year :).

    • jennie lusko

      thank you for writing Jeremy, it’s definitely a challenge having food allergies in the home. you have to really change your whole mindset and way of life. I’m so glad you’ve been able to listen to my husband’s messages – serious life changing stuff that God speaks through him and His word! So much love to your whole family 🙂