- (Photograph:Jen Hoffman)
Jen Lilley may have played murderous schemer Maxie Jones on the hit daytime soap opera "General Hospital," but the actress says she is ready to start a new chapter in her life with the help of Jesus Christ.
Lilley recently announced that she would leave "General Hospital" after joining the cast less than a year ago to replace actress Kirsten Storms, who was dealing with an endometriosis illness. While Lilley created a tearful and thankful goodbye video for her fans on YouTube, the actress admitted that standing in for such an accomplished soap opera actress was challenging.
"General Hospital" fans were not always so eager to see Storms leave or welcome her replacement. Still, Lilley recalls using the grace of God to overcome any of the obstacles that came her way when she first joined the cast.
"It was definitely a really scary and challenging experience, (Kirsten Storms) was one of the top five soap actresses," Lilley told The Christian Post in a recent interview. "At the end of the day we know that our battle is not against flesh and blood. You kind of have to hold your head high and have grace."
Although the transition wasn't an easy one, Lilley managed to turn her stint as Maxie from a few weeks to 11 months. The actress credited the cast and crew for making the role a rewarding experience which will come to a close next month.
As Lilley departs from the show, she told CP that she is trusting God to provide her with her next role.
"I'm actually really excited to be off of 'General Hospital' because I know God orders my steps, and this only means He has a new adventure for me," the actress shared. "I pursue God on a daily basis, I'm not stepping into oblivion."
Still, the Hollywood actress from Virginia admits that being a Christian in her industry is not easy. Lilley recalled having to reconsider a recent audition from a major motion picture studio because it conflicted with her values as a follower of Jesus Christ.
"I remember reading the script and being like, 'I can't do this as a Christian for a lot of reasons. One being that it is a horror movie," she told CP. "I like psychological thrillers but when it's demonic, there's no uplifting message."
The actress spoke about some of the red flags that deterred her from pursuing the role any further.
"The first person (in the script) to die was a child. I'm a huge advocate of children's rights," she explained. "They kept saying God is dead, God doesn't exist. I would rather not be an actor and be in God's will."
While the actress may no longer be on daytime television or featured in a horror movie anytime soon, she keeps a lot on her plate. Lilley is an advocate for charities that help abused children and those in need of clean drinking water.
"I just think we take so much for granted in this country. I'm not saying we have it all together. People in the U.S. definitely need ministry, but we are blessed to have clean drinking water," Lilley told CP of her work with Generosity Water, Charity Water, Child Help and The Innocent Justice Foundation. "I feel like I was so blessed to have parents not everybody does. Jesus loved children and so do I."
The actress who donates half of her income to charity said she once thought about being a kindergarten teacher and is looking to write a children's book among other things.
"I will always do acting but I'm looking to have a children's story out this winter," the actress said of her future ventures. "I would love to have my own fashion line. I love modest clothing that's still flirty."
No matter what her next big venture turns out to be, the actress spoke about making her Christian faith a priority. After witnessing her brother overcome spina bifida while her mother prayed for him in her womb, Lilley said her baby brother was delivered still-born and had stopped breathing for an estimated 11 to 15 minutes after being wrapped in his umbilical cord.
However, her mother laid hands on the baby saying, "Be healed in Jesus name," which the actress said brought her little brother back to life immediately. Although the doctors said he would have learning disabilities and other health complications, her mother maintained that God would not heal halfway.
Today, Lilley's brother Ryan is a healthy 17-year-old young man who is athletic and at the top of his class.
"Regardless of whether I can prove it, I can't deny the power of Jesus Christ," Lilley said with authority. "I can't deny he raised my brother from the dead. I can't deny when you say things in the name of Jesus, things happen."