How I Got Over My Very Public Mistakes

Last week, I was amazed at all the people who read my posts and left comments. (This post about expecting a call from the President got almost 2,800 comments and was shared 131,000 times on this site alone… And, no, my phone didn’t ring.)

Most of the comments were wonderful and supportive. (I’ve addressed some of the not-so-nice comments here.)  But there’s one constant criticism I didn’t talk about:  some of you insist on calling me a hypocrite. After all, I became a mother before I walked down the aisle – how can I talk about waiting until marriage for sex?

I find it strange that the culture rightfully applauds former drug addicts who warn children of the dangers of drug use. They are happy to listen to former alcoholics talk about how they finally are living a clean life. But when it comes to me talking about waiting until marriage for sex, it’s almost like people want me to slink away in shame… unable to show my face in public again because of my past mistakes.

I want this blog to be a place where we can all be honest, so let me start. I’ve struggled with feelings of guilt and shame. I know (judging from my inbox) many of you have too. A Christian counselor named Ed Welch helpfully writes about what to do after you’ve made a huge mistake:

It feels so right – so spiritual – to live with regrets. It means you feel bad for the wrong things you have done or think you have done, and that sounds like a good thing. If you forget those wrongs, you are acting like they were no big deal.

We live with regrets because we think we should. We think it’s the right thing to do—that it is our duty before God. But…
The Kingdom of Heaven is regret-free. The truth is that the triune God liberates us from past regrets. His will is being done. Bank on it. Neither your human limitations nor your sins hinder the good plans of your sovereign Father.
Let’s go one important step further. It is God’s will that you jettison past regrets.

So what does that mean?


Stop living under a cloud of guilt, stop wondering what life could have been like had you made better decisions, and stop beating yourself up over that thing you’ve done.

Read the rest of his post here, and get over the regret you’ve been carrying for far too long.

I have.


  • Luke Cymbal

    Wow. So true! Thank you so much for that encouraging post. EXACTLY what I needed to hear at this moment in my life. God has gifted you with such an amazing opportunity to be such a role model to teens like me. Thanks!

  • Pamela Masterson

    Thank you Bristol for being honest and sharing your life with us. Keep your life on the path you have selected for yourself and that adorable son of your’s. God love’s a person that ask for his forgiveness and reaches out to others. He is touching your honesty with his love.


  • Alana

    Aloha Bristol darling, you are wise beyond your years, beautiful inside and out…when a person radiates love, laughter and kindness as you do the world listens. You go girl and God bless your every footprint in the sand.

  • dan

    Throw the past and regrets away, live today ,thank G-d everyday for the outcome. What might of looked like a mistake at the moment turned into a beautiful blessing from G-D ,He gave you YOUR SON. How can you ever regret that . Change that “I AM SORRY ” blackboard with “A PICTURE OF YOUR SON “.

  • Denise

    Bristol– He loves us. Mistakes or wrong turns bring us to him–he allows this….so how can it be a mistake. Grace, Grace , Grace…his never ending gift to us. Without mistakes grace would not be necessary. I am going to bet that beautiful little curly headed boy is the sparkle of your eye.. just like you are in God’s eyes. Love the Blog !

  • http://AmericaWantsSarah Bruce O’H.

    Ah, but without the mistakes made, and the lessons learned, our growth in wisdom and faith would take far longer…and if we truly believe that God has forgiven us for our sin, who are we to not accept that forgiveness?

    Your point about alcoholics in recovery who then use their story to help other alcoholics is a good analogy to your advising young women to wait until marriage to have their children. And what they do is honorable and life saving.

    And, dear Bristol, if your story and advice has put only one persons life on the right path, I contend that is worth being called a hypocrite a thousand times over by the “hyenas of hate”.

  • Tina Marie

    You’re an amazingly strong girl for standing up for yourself. Keep it up and don’t let them get you down. ;) If only society offered everyone a little grace…

  • Donna

    Bristol, thank you for that post. We ALL can use it. I always wondered how people thought you were a hypocrite for talking to other young people about waiting. You were informing them of what it was like to be young with a baby. They needed to hear that from someone who had been through it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have listened. Keep on keepin’ on, Bristol, and God Bless you!

  • Mariah

    “Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you cant change, kiss slowly, play hard, forgive quickly, take chances, give everything, and have no regrets, Life is too short to be anything but Happy”~unknown

  • Robin

    One of my favorite books is My Decent Into Heaven by Howard Storm. I have read it three times and just ordered it on cassette (its not available on CD). Pastor Storm says something to the effect of when we ask Jesus to forgive us he does and if we keep bringing that sin back up and feeling guilty its almost like saying Jesus lied and didn’t really forgive me. Hearing that has helped me alot not carrying around old guilt. Those sins are forgiven and gone I just need to remember not to ever repeat them.