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Life Beyond The Scars – Book Review

What would you do if overnight, your whole body changed? The face you’d lived with your whole life suddenly wasn’t there anymore. The life you wanted to live might not be possible, and it would take months of healing before you could even leave the hospital? In Life Beyond the Scars, Charity Freeland takes us along her journey, telling the story of her accident and how she learned to live beyond her scars.

Pink peonies in a vintage pottery vase on a table in a grey room.

We all have scars, Freeland tells us—unsealed trauma, lies we believe, fears we’ve allowed to grip us. But for seventeen-year-old Charity Freeland , a car accident she barely survived left her face and body covered in third degree burns.

How does a person gather the strength to heal from something so tremendously painful? Freeland recounts that the doctors in her ward would not even let her look in the mirror. Her face and skin had been so damaged she would not be able to recognize herself. Many young patients with third degree burns, if allowed to see themselves before their burns had a chance to scar, do not recover. Her journey to recovery, though, doesn’t end when she finally faces her changed reflection in a mirror. Freeland had to learn how to live in the world, all from scratch—and how to understand her worth.

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Life Beyond the Scars isn’t just an inspiring story. Roses, this is a book that will challenge you not just to “overcome your weaknesses” like the latest “humans are pretty amazing, after all” news story, but to run to Jesus during every step of your healing.

I’ve read biographies or books about tragedies before, but I’ve never quite experienced anything like Freeland’s honest, down-to-earth, Jesus-chasing way of telling her story. She doesn’t just tell about her own pain—she shares the times she fell into lies and sin, and how the Lord brought her out again. The story doesn’t end when she leaves the hospital — it begins.

She wrestles through the why of her tragedies, and her answer made me think and surprised me in its clarity.

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Rose, if you are asking why, you aren’t alone. But as Charity Freeland says, perhaps our true healing comes only after tragedy. 

Life Beyond the Scars takes us through Charity Freeland’s journey, not just the accident, but the healing. How she learned to live not in spite of her scars, but beyond them. How she grieved what she lost—and yet learned to celebrate the beauty of her scars. It’s theologically profound and true.

It’s an amazing book, and we are excited to give it five roses! 

Find it on Goodreads and Amazon here! 

Article Written By

Bethany Rose

Bethany’s name means “bright city on a hill.” This is her mission in life, to illuminate the beautiful things and shine God’s light where there was darkness. Bethany leads The Wilting Rose Project, a ministry of encouragement for young women who feel their struggles make them worthless. She writes fairytales heavily inspired by her love of the forest, where she spends many of her mornings soaking in the uniquely Minnesotan beauty. Her blog includes more personal documentation of her journey the last few years with Lyme disease and Toxic Mold illness and the journey of healing she is now on.

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