CNLP 213: Levi and Jennie Lusko on Losing their Daughter, and How to Fight through Grief to Keep Living and Leading

No one ever expects to lose a child, but that’s what happened in 2012 when Levi and Jennie Lusko’s 5 year old daughter, Lenya, died of an asthma attack. Levi and Jennie talk about what they experienced in the worst moment of their life, how they fought through it, and how they get through the tough days that still arise.

Welcome to Episode 213 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Didn’t See It Coming is Available Now!

Grief isn’t the only thing that shatters a leader’s world. Other things can as well.

If you want practical help overcoming a some of the biggest challenges leaders face, my new book Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That Nobody Expects and Everyone Experiences tackles the seven core issues that take people out: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and the emptiness of success and provides strategies on how to combat each.

I wrote the book because no 18 year old sets out to be cynical, jaded and disconnected by age 35. Yet it happens all the time.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s what top leaders are saying about Didn’t See It Coming:

“Seriously, this may be the most important book you read this year.” Jud Wilhite, Lead Pastor, Central Church

“Powerful, personal, and highly readable. ” Brian Houston, Global Senior Pastor, Hillsong

“Whatever challenge you’re facing, whatever obstacle you’re hoping to overcome, whatever future you dream or imagine, there is something powerful for you here.” Andy Stanley, Founder, North Point Ministries

“Uncommonly perceptive and generous…You have to read this book.” Ann Voskamp, NYT bestselling author

“Masterful.” Reggie Joiner, CEO Orange

“Deep biblical insight, straightforward truth, and practical wisdom to help you grow.” Craig Groeschel, Pastor and NYT bestselling author

“This book is sure to help you.” Daniel H. Pink, NYT bestselling author

Over the years, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a public speaker is having opportunities to hang out with Carey…It’s not a matter of if you’ll run into these challenges; it’s a matter of when. Be prepared by spending a little time with a leader who has already been there.” Jon Acuff, NYT best-selling author

“Nieuwhof’s book provides expert guidance…with an accuracy that pierces the heart.” Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Inc.

“A refreshingly transparent guide for all leaders in a wide variety of industries.” Bryan Miles, Co-Founder and CEO, BELAY

You can learn more and get your copy of Didn’t See It Coming here.

Jennie on Instagram | Twitter | Fresh Life Church

Levi on Instagram | Twitter | Through the Eyes of a Lion

Links from this Episode

It’s Didn’t See It Coming launch week! Check out Chapter One for FREE and then head over to to order yours today.

If you have read it, could you leave a review? I’d love to know what you think. Thank you for making this such an incredible week!

3 Insights from this Episode

1. Sometimes the things you don’t see coming are the good things

Many people in today’s culture tend to have an unrealistic expectation of how they want their lives to be. Unsatisfied and constantly desiring more.

But following Jesus directs your life toward a path that is better than your greatest expectations. God can give you more than you could ever imagine on your own and sometimes the things you didn’t see coming actually turn into unexpected, wonderful blessings.

Living in a daily walk with Jesus focused on his love rather than wishing for what you think you lack in life, gives you the chance to look back at who you were before him and see all he has done for you.

2. You find out what you truly believe when you are hurting

It’s one thing to declare God’s goodness when things are going great, but when you find yourself in the darkest of places can you still declare that He is good?

Suffering is the greatest vindication of our faith, because you find out what you really believe when you are hurting.

3. Get through the bad days by continuing to move forward

The best way to get through a bad day is to commit to walking through it. Don’t avoid or ignore the pain you’re feeling. Trust that God will show up and give you what you need.

Why in the worst time of our lives would we run to anything or anyone else but the God who created us?

When you’re deep into the hurt – it’s easy to believe the lies that say you’ll never rise up up from the despair, but keep moving forward. Don’t let the immensity of the journey keep you from taking every necessary, crucial next step toward healing.

Quotes from This Episode

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

Apple Podcasts


Google Play



Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Nancy Duarte     

Nancy Duarte is one of the leading experts in communication today, having advised and consulted 25 out of 35 of the biggest companies in the world and advised 84% of all top tech companies. Nancy talks about the biggest mistakes preachers and communicators make, what all great talks have in common, and gives practical advice about how to cope with changing expectations around communications.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 214.

CNLP 213: Levi and Jennie Lusko on Losing their Daughter, and How to Fight through Grief to Keep Living and Leading

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.