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.


  • virginia metheny

    Bristol, I’m so glad we serve a God who forgives out mistakes and failures, and it’s all because of Grace, Jesus took our sins for the past and present and future Praise God for his love, I love your mom and would love to see her in person one day, you are a good person and and Gods child, God Bless You Awalys, virginia

  • Page

    Well said, Bristol! You are a strong woman, and I am so proud of you for not letting others steal your joy in life.

  • http://EileenS Eileen Steller

    We often forget that we all are sinners and we all fall short of the glory and if it wasn’t for Gods mercy, we all would be consumed. Because He casts all of our (repented)sins into the sea of forgetfulness, never to remember them again, we are encouraged to press on toward the mark and to put all our past where God has cast it. The key to life is what we do with our sins of the past . We can either make them our stepping stones or our tombstones. Bristol, I am so glad that you have chosen to make them your stepping stones and are getting on with your life. Please know, that there are thousands of us who admire your choice and are here to back you up in prayer and kind thoughts.

  • Kelly

    Bristol your blog gives me a warm feeling inside when I read it. To see a young woman with so much wisdom is amazing and wonderful. Keep it up. The lord will bless those that help themselves.

  • Michelle C.

    Well done and beautifully stated Bristol…my favorite name of God is “Redeemer” because He takes our sin and failure and turns it around completely and uses it for our good and His glory! Remember that JESUS was despised and rejected by men too. Keep on keepin on! You are bringing hope and healing to many young women’s lives and your testimony is powerful!

  • Juan

    Living with regrets stops you from living. You loose sight of the good things around you, such as the people that love you. I have too lived in regret of things I have done, but I have realized that the only way to snap out of it is to realize what things you did wrong, what steps you took to get there and how to prevent it from happening in the future. This is called maturity and just like learning, you never stop learning, or in this case, becoming more mature.

  • julie

    I want to applaud you you were and are a young girl who took responsibility for creating a child when some your age wouldnot your bright person with a future a head of you good luck

  • Chris

    I found this extremely helpful, thank you so much for sharing. I have a friend who recently went through a break up with a guy who basically played her and took her virginity. Now that she’s realized what happened she’s in this spiral of guilt and shame. I keep trying to tell her that when she finds true love it won’t matter, that he’ll accept and love her for everything she is. The only problem is that this friend doesn’t know that I still love her. But maybe I can at least help her through this hard time so that when she finds someone she loves, she can realize that her past doesn’t matter in the arms of the one she loves.

  • Daina Kennedy

    How could anyone have anything bad to say about you after this…thank you for sharing your heart! It’s not easy to be in the spotlight, having your every moment critiqued…stand strong and don’t back down! There are many that stand with you in support..and many more that need to hear what you have learned!

  • Charlote Hodge

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Just what I needed to hear today.