A Letter to Bristol Palin

Hey Bristol,

You don’t know me, nor do I know you.  I don’t even know much about your mother or her politics, having been scarred in childhood by parents who were so politically active dinner was sometimes forgotten.  I’ve never even watched Dancing with the Stars.

All I know is that you are a woman, a daughter, a sister, and now, a mother–one without a husband, with all the stigma that brings.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how quick the world is to point fingers at public sins?  Being proud or gossipy or judgmental or mean-spirited is never really considered ‘bad,’ is it, because all these things can be hidden behind veils of smiles and excuses and civility.  But, a baby?  Who can hide that?

It can surely be no surprise or secret to you that many people are following and will follow your blog because they want to gaze upon you like a circus attendee gazes upon the fat lady or the tattooed man.  These sorts, surely, are giddy with the opportunity a blogging forum holds to communicate to you the depths of their derision for your oh-so-awful choices.

I am writing to tell you that this derision is the best gift they can possibly give you.  Because, if you can stand against it and not let it squash you, it can teach you something it takes many of us forty or fifty or sixty years to learn:  What other people think about us DOES NOT MATTER.

I write this to you having learned this lesson the very hardest of ways, having lost reputation, friends, family for poor choices I have made.  You think you’ve made mistakes?  Girl, what you’ve ‘done’ is a mere scratch compared to the gouges some of the rest of us (far older and supposedly more mature) have etched in the table of our lives.

You’re happy and thriving and moving past it all, which is exactly what you ought to be doing.  But other women in your shoes, other women, period, are flogging themselves and living in agony for poor choices…I have a friend who still grieves an abortion she had twenty years ago, one whose marriage is falling apart, one who has lost custody of a houseful of children.

To you, to them, I say, keep on.  As my well-meaning mother says, Don’t let the devil win.  No matter the past, it does not define you.  You are God’s beautiful daughter and your child is His gorgeous son.  Not-so-great choices have a way of being sticky, of pulling us down into other not-so-great choices because we have consciences and the guilt of what we’ve done sometimes convinces us we’ll never do better, be better.  But then we are playing God, not forgiving ourselves, when He has forgiven us as far as the east is from the west.  That’s a long way, sister.

So go, conquer the world with your story, beautiful girl.  Love that little guy with abandon.  Life has just begun for you, and I can’t wait to see what you do with it.


(Praying hard to be a) Whole Mama

Once Upon a Time
Can You Take the Heat?
Making Special Time
Dealing with Disappointment
  • Millie

    What a wonderful and moving post. Wonderful advise for women of all ages.
    Unfortunately alot of women do not realize that God’s love does reach accross
    the world to all and with Him forgiving you it saddens Him when you will
    not give yourself and move on with your life that he has give you. He wants
    us to have joy in our lives.

    Amy thank you for you wonderful post!!

  • Millie


    I want to thank you for all that you are doing for the young women. You are
    such an inspiration to them. I alway enjoy your post. You have such
    mature insight at a young age . You have had wonderful role models in
    your life with your parents. You continue to keep your head high and don’t
    listen to others who try to take you down.

  • bellagrazi

    Amy, you got a nice shout out from Bristol on her blog. Congrats!

  • Shari


  • CJ

    Your “Letter to Bristol” is outstanding! Your love, warmth, sincerity and concern for her and others who share similar agonies, is palpable…..and I am deeply touched.

    BLESS YOU, for sharing your heart with sweet Bristol and all of us who are privileged to read it :)

    “To you, to them, I say, keep on. As my well-meaning mother says, Don’t let the devil win. No matter the past, it does not define you. You are God’s beautiful daughter and your child is His gorgeous son.” ——————-Exquisite! AMEN!

  • Jackie F

    Sweet, sweet words…. That was lovely. Thank you….

  • John Norton

    Thankyou for welcoming me to your site… Let me, if I may return the favor and invite you Bristol to ours… 100 % Sarah’s You Betcha Nation on Face Book , You Betcha, With all thats going on the Nation and the world today Unity is the Key to Victory… X Infinity… ps… : we are the only site like it on the Net…

  • Kim Floyd

    THANK YOU, Amy, this is such a beautiful letter.

  • Helen M. Coe

    Bristol is an inspiration to us all. Even at her tender age, she has opened herself up to all kinds of criticism from mean-spirited individuals who cannot or will not admit that mistakes in their lives have taken untold tolls on those around them. Being in denial that there’s anything wrong with them, their mistakes and bitter hearts make them a poison that spreads throughout their life’s radius and does nothing for them to become better people from having learned from their mistakes. It’s almost sad. As Jesus once said, “Let those among you without sin cast the first stone”. Do you know anyone who is sinless? Be proud, Bristol, of the woman you have become!

  • Bo

    Nice letter. Since you profess to “not know about Bristol’s mother, Dancing with the Stars, politics”, etc., perhaps you should have done a little more homework about the motives and history behind Bristol’s manipulative behavior, her silly blog and her “victimhood”. However well-intentioned, I am afraid that you are enabling this poor narcissist who suffers from delusions of persecution and martyrdom.

  • Kim

    Very well-said. Thank you for sharing…and encouraging.

  • Mikelvr

    Why on earth should Bristol Palin be an inspiration “to us all”? I have children around the ages of the three oldest Palins, all working or in college, and they certainly do not consider that family to be an object lesson in any way.

    Miss Palin is being richly subsidized by her sponsors, her family, and those who slap her name on products, such as her blog and her book. Therefore, unlike any other single mother I can name offhand, she lives a lifestyle with oodles of material goods.

  • blackbird

    Thanks for writing Amy.

    Hut Burning

    The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

    But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. “God, how could you do this to me!” he cried.

    Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

    It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. So remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

  • http://www.wholemama.com Amy

    Perhaps your children have not yet done so and kudos to them. But none of us is perfect and the last chapters of our children’s lives aren’t written until the day they die, which puts parents in a most humble position. Or should.

    I would rather have my child mess up and own up to it and move on with their life, than live a sanctimonious life without compassion for the less-than-perfect. That smacks of Phariseeism and we know how popular those dudes were. Should we diss Bristol for, of all things, not suffering financially? I’m pretty sure none of us are privy to her bank account, but that’s a moot point. Whether she’s poor or not, she chose to give her child life, she has the struggles that are common to any single mother, she isn’t allowing the judgment of the masses quiet her voice or ruin her life, and she is basking in God’s forgiveness. In my book, inspirational doesn’t get much better than that.

  • http://www.wholemama.com Amy

    Yes, yes…thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.wholemama.com Amy

    Thank YOU, Millie, for writing. I’m glad Bristol’s story inspired you. God is good!

  • http://www.wholemama.com Amy

    So true, Helen. Thank you for writing.

  • http://www.wholemama.com Amy

    Do we know that for sure, Bo? I find that assuming we know another’s mind and motivation leads to trouble. Whatever her politics, Bristol is a human being and in need of love and forgiveness, just like we all are. My call is not to judge her motives, but to love and encourage her.

  • http://www.wholemama.com Amy

    So glad you stopped by, Kim, and found encouragement.

  • Micky

    I one time heard “Life’s to short to be stuck in a rut.” Sounds like words from a wise man.

    Just something for everyone to consider.