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.


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  • SingleMom2TheBestGiftGodEverGaveMe

    Bristol, I have to applaud you for making this point! I too am a single mom, never married, and never happier in life. My sister is a recovered drug addict, attending college to become a drug and rehab counselor. What is it that makes her more capable than a college graduate who has never had her experiences? Just that! Experience.
    We’ve all heard the expression, “Easy for you to say… You’ve never been through what I’m going through now.” It is that same ingredient (experience) that affords a single mother that same level of worth in doling out advice on the topic. WAY TO GO!!! Don’t regret; learn and grow.

  • clarissa roberts

    Bristol, you are such an amazing person, I love being able to keep up with you and see that you can make a difference even if you made a mistake. Thank you for being a positive role model for so many!! You show young girls how even in difficult times you can thrive! Much love! -clarissa Roberts-{Psalms 45:11}

  • Charli Chad

    Beautifully written. I was once in your shoes, then God brought me an awesome man. You need to forgive yourself so you can move on and grow in life and help others, just like you are now. Keep on truckin. Love you!

  • Melissa

    I think the people who bash Bristol and the entire Palin family have no idea about the God that they serve. He is an awesome, loving, forgiving Father. A Father who will allow you to reap the consequences of your sins. Not because he wants you to suffer, but like any great Father, he wants us to learn from our mistakes in the hopes that we won’t repeat them. Bristol has reaped the consequences of her past decisions in a way that none of us have ever had to. The whole world watched her reap those consequences. The media salivated at the chance to humiliate Bristol and the Palin family. And through all that she has stood her ground and like her mom, has not compromised her beliefs. I honestly believe that she has truly and genuinely repented and it’s obvious that God has called her to do the work she is doing. When God is with you, who can be against you? So Bristol keep doing what your doing, the only approval that is necessary is the approval of God and I think you have that!

  • Gayla Hein

    That is a wonderful post and so true!