Carlos and Alexa PenaVega on grief, healing after stillbirth: 'God has been meeting us where we're at'

Carlos and Alexa PenaVega
Carlos and Alexa PenaVega | Leah Klett/The Christian Post

After experiencing the devastating death of their newborn daughter, Indy, Carlos and Alexa PenaVega have shared how God has comforted them through their grief and given them purpose amidst their pain. 

In April 2024, the outspoken Christian couple revealed their daughter, Indy, was "born at rest" after a "beautiful and peaceful delivery."

"It has been a painful journey. But in the pain, we have found peace. God continues to comfort and hold us in his arms. The prayers from the community around us have been so sustaining in this difficult season," they wrote on Instagram.

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In a May interview with The Christian Post, the PenaVegas said the weeks following the loss of their fourth child have been a "roller coaster" of emotions — yet God has been ever-present.

"God has really been meeting us where we're at, and He's just been providing us so much peace," Alexa PenaVega said. "He's really been so graceful to us. … He's been the only reason we've been able to get through this season."

"To have now gone through the hardest thing we've ever gone through, ever, you just realize the world is just so much bigger than your bubble," the 35-year-old actress continued. 

"It's hard not to feel that way; I think it's very easy to kind of fall into like depression and sadness and all this, but the one thing God kept reminding us through our grief was how great He is and how His heart hurts for us to go through this pain. His intention was not for us to feel this pain. … He is going to turn this pain around, and He's going to give us pain with purpose. I feel like if there was a slogan for the season we're going through, it's called 'pain with purpose.' … When you give your pain to God, He will turn it into purpose."

Alexa, who shot to fame as a child actress in the 2001 film "Spy Kids" and Carlos, known for his role in the pop group Big Time Rush, married in September 2013. Throughout their marriage, they haven't been shy about using their platform to point others to the goodness of God.

Their latest project is a faith-based film from Great American Pure Flix, "Mr. Manhattan." The film centers on Mason Bradley (Carlos), a highly successful lawyer who prides himself on being able to tackle any challenge. His world is upended when he learns that his brother and sister-in-law have passed away, naming him as the legal guardian for their children.

Despite his lack of parenting experience, Mason takes on this new responsibility. However, juggling a demanding new client and accommodating his niece and nephew in his not-so-kid-friendly Manhattan loft soon proves overwhelming. The children look to Dani (Alexa), their mother's best friend and former babysitter, for help. Dani, also Mason's ex-fiancé, becomes an essential part of this unexpected family dynamic.

The film, set against the backdrop of Kentucky, delves into themes of faith, family, grief and the challenges of modern life.

"We've been so blessed that we get to continue working together," Carlos said. "Most couples do it a few times and are kind of done with it, but we just keep going."

Mr. Manhattan
Mr. Manhattan | Great American Pure Flix

The actor told CP he found deep personal connections with Mason's character. "Being a father, in the beginning, was really weird and hard. So in that sense, I could definitely relate to Mason's journey," he explained. "His spiritual walk, the struggle with understanding a relationship with God, felt very real to me."

And for the PenaVegas, Mason and Dani's journey, in many ways, reflects their own. 

"At the beginning of our relationship, [Carlos] was really still navigating his faith in his journey with God," Alexa said. "[Dani] is trying not to overdo it and force Mason to have this relationship with God, but just speaking truth and honesty and allowing him to navigate that journey himself while holding his hand through it.

"I think that's what you do as a mother, wife or husband, because you're never at the exact place all the time. Sometimes [Carlos is] picking me up, or I'm picking him up, and that's why we have that balance … you're constantly bettering each other."

The couple reflected on how, over the years, their priorities have shifted as they've become parents and grown in their spiritual walks.

"If our faith didn't influence our choices, I'd be questioning my walk with God," he said, adding that the transformation in their lives wasn't immediate but a gradual shift towards living a Christ-centered life. "Our hearts were slowly changed over the years," he said. 

It's a far cry from their early days of marriage, they said, where they balanced Bible study with nightlife: "We'd go to Bible study on Thursday nights and then head to the club," Carlos admitted.

"We weren't like crazy party animals, but we liked going to the club and having a few drinks and dancing. After a month, we were like, 'This probably doesn't add up.' The more that we let God into our hearts, the more He started changing and molding us. I feel like over the years, He's done that more and more and more, especially when it comes to all these projects."

Today, the duo's faith plays a crucial role in their career choices — something "Mr. Manhattan," which highlights God's faithfulness despite life's challenges, reflects.

"We believe in making worldly content with a Kingdom heart because the world is broken, and it needs healing," Carlos said, adding that the couple is committed to projects that glorify God, whether overtly faith-based or subtly impactful. 

Alexa agreed, "Sanctification is a journey. The more we know the Lord, the more we want to reflect Him in our day-to-day life. It's about constantly bettering each other and the projects we choose."

"While the Bible is the most beautiful roadmap you could have … it doesn't exactly specify how far is too far," she said. "You're constantly gauging that balance. What I love about the Bible is that while it gives you so much. God also left a lot of it out so that you would have to come to Him and wrestle with Him through making these decisions.

He's not a transactional God. That's not what He wants. He wants you to come to Him. He wants you to ask questions. He wants you to wrestle with Him so that you have to rely on Him to live your life. I can't tell you how much we've had to do that."

"Mr. Manhattan" will begin exclusively streaming on Friday, May 24.

Watch the trailer for "Mr. Manhattan" below: 

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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