Actress Alexa PenaVega is on a mission to live for Jesus in a self-obsessed culture.
She and her husband, Carlos, co-authored the new memoir, “What If Love Is the Point?: Living for Jesus in a Self-Consumed World,” a book about faith, love, perseverance, and finding Christ amid chaos.
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“God has always called my heart, ever since I was little,” PenaVega told CBN’s Faithwire. “I just always felt His presence, and I’ve always felt His peace.”
The actress, who grew up in a home where she learned about Jesus but wasn’t deeply rooted in Scripture, said that, over time, God began calling her closer to Him.
“As I got older, God just kept calling me into His arms again and again and again — and specifically after I went through divorce,” PenaVega said. “I was like, I need to seek refuge in God and really know what it means to be a Christian because I keep telling everybody, ‘I’m a Christian. I’m a Christian.'”
But the actress said she hadn’t read the Bible or fully understood its contents. She realized she didn’t know what she believed, so she decided to start genuinely diving into her relationship with the Lord.
The results were nothing short of life-altering. Watch PenaVega tell her story:
“My whole world was transformed,” PenaVega said. “I already knew that I had access to this … Superhero, in a way, but I just didn’t understand the true fruit in what that meant.”
At the time, PenaVega was a successful actress. Her only community was rooted in Hollywood, though, where she was finding neither an excess of Christian conversations nor relationships.
“I started … surrounding myself with a kingdom-hearted community,” she said. “A whole world was opened up to me because, before I would be timid about bringing up God in a conversation. Jesus was off-limits.”
As PenaVega dove deeper into her Christian walk, she realized how natural it became to talk about God’s blessings in her life.
“He really worked on my heart over those years,” she said.
Around that same time, PenaVega’s life was further transformed when she met fellow entertainer and now-husband, Carlos PenaVega, at a home Bible study. The two, who didn’t know one another beforehand, had always individually been invited to attend; when they finally did, they met and fell in love.
The rest is, well, history.
“God’s timing is everything,” she said.
The couple married and now have three small children. They have worked together throughout their marriage, appearing simultaneously on “Dancing With the Stars” and acting in other projects.
As for the impact of faith on PenaVega’s career, she said the Hollywood roles she took changed “dramatically” after embracing Christianity, and that she looks for movie and TV opportunities that allow her to “honor God,” even if those projects are secular.
While PenaVega sometimes performs in faith-based content, she also looks to inspire audiences through secular channels.
“I want to be able to honor God doing worldly content that actually touches the world,” she said. “And maybe shows a glimpse of God without having to say ‘Jesus’ — and oftentimes, I think that’s where … we’re most impactful.”
PenaVega continued, “If they see you walking consistently with God or just having peace in insane circumstances, where they’re like, ‘How are you calm right now? Like how on earth are you okay with everything that’s happening in your life?’ That’s your opportunity to say, ‘Oh, Jesus.'”
Now, Alexa and Carlos PenaVega want to inspire people to see this same message through their new memoir, “What If Love Is the Point?: Living for Jesus in a Self-Consumed World.”
“I just feel like everything is self-help, self this, self that,” Alexa PenaVega said. “Where, for us, we were like … the more selfless we are, the happier we are, and the happier the world is. And I think we just need to flip it around. We need to like, yes, self-care is important, but we need to show people what it really looks like to live for the kingdom and walk with Jesus and how satisfying that is.”
PenaVega encouraged fans not to “complicate God” by assuming they must do so much to earn His love or acceptance.
“We don’t have to complicate God,” she said. “It really is as simple as … putting God in the center, and everything else really does work itself out.”
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