Do you ever wake up and think to yourself today I am different.

Do you ever make a change in your life and want to shout it from the rooftops or call all your friends and say no really so I am going to be different from now on.

I am different.

I am not the same person I was at 16. Nor the same person I was at 20. I am not even the same person I was at 24. I am today the best version of myself but FAR far from perfect.

To say I am a sinner is an understatement.

I have done so many things in my late teens and early 20’s that are embarrassing, terrible, and downright wrong –  I don’t even want to remember them.

I am asking for forgiveness from myself for all the ways I hurt people. The people I hurt the most are people I loved. It makes me sad to think about, so I try not to.

I often I wish people were as forgiving as God is.

[I did it again. I brought religion into it.]

I formerly thought Christianity was all about rules. What you can do, what you can’t do. What you were doing that was so wrong and was going to help you end up in hell. I had been told MORE than a time or two by family members that I was indeed going to this horrible place.

So I rebelled. I did what I wanted. I lived how I wanted…..or so I thought.

I had no REAL self esteem. I got some every weekend by being the funny drunk girl in the room. I would make people laugh and dance up a storm. I thought I was having fun. I wasn’t.

I didn’t respect myself. I didn’t respect others. It makes sense. How can you respect others when you don’t respect yourself?

I was a good person who was confused about life, about friendships, about what the whole meaning of life really was.

I didn’t turn to my religion, because my religion had never helped me before. I knew what I did on a weekly basis wasn’t considered very Christian but I still considered myself one because I had FAITH that God was real, He had created the earth and that He would forgive me for my sins. [which I occasionally asked him to do]

I at one point even wondered why it mattered if you sinned. If God would forgive you couldn’t you just do whatever you wanted and then ask for forgiveness at the end of the day?

I compared myself to others.

I wanted to be skinny. I wanted to be beautiful. I wanted people to love me. I wanted to be the life of the party. I wanted to be athletic. I wanted to be that girl everyone wanted to be friends with.

I was none of those things.

I also compared myself to people who said they were Christians to what I thought a Christian was. Turns out YOU SHOULD NEVER EVER DO THIS. I see Christians sin every day [hello we are human] and if you think Christianity and God are those people then you might start to hate God and Christianity instead of disliking what you see people do.

This is the biggest realization I have had in the past year. Before I would think to myself – if so and so is a Christian then I don’t want to be one. Look how that person acted. Look how that person treated me – and HA they say they are Christian.

I was blind to the fact that I was that person who claimed to be a Christian but wasn’t acting like one. I wonder if I ever turned people off? It makes me sad to think about.

Guess what even Christians make mistakes… do people from ALL religions. None of us are blameless – all I strive for now is to be a better version of myself today than I was yesterday.

Even the flowers are feeling off this week

Yesterday was a TERRIBLE day for me. I didn’t blog because I feared if I put my words out there they would only be negative and not well thought through.

A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps ~ Proverbs 14:15

I had a bad day for no reason in particular.

Raising three children 5 and under is HARD. So hard I want to cry at times, and do. I constantly feel like a bad mom. I feel like I don’t do enough. I don’t read to them enough. Play enough games. I raise my voice. I get frustrated. I get tired.

I woke up yesterday and could barely get my daughter off to school on time. Both boys wanted to play and all I wanted to do was sleep. I had gotten enough sleep the night before but for some reason I woke up and felt like a truck had plowed into my heart. I grabbed a pillow and lied down on the floor. The boys climbed all over me. Miles told me I had to help him get ready for school. I got up. I got him ready even though I felt like a shell of myself.

Caffeine – that is what I need. I went to Starbucks. Bought myself a Venti, no-foam, soy latte, and a cute little mug ornament I have had my eye on for a couple of weeks. [yes they put them out before Thanksgiving even happened]

I took Miles to school and then decided to do a little retail therapy. Maybe if I decorated a little bit of the house it would make me happier in my space today. Colton danced to the music in the store and I felt happy. Happy but still a shell. What is wrong with me? I thought…..

Colton fell asleep in the car and instead of going home I drove to Miles’s pre-school and waited in the line an hour early.

I took out my highlighter and opened my Bible. [I had grabbed it earlier when I walked out of the house, something I rarely do] I turned to Proverbs.

For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared ~ Proverbs 3:26

I realized that the most I can do in life is change who I am from this day forward. I have made MANY MANY mistakes in the past. I have done things that I will never talk about again. I am no longer that person. Yes she is me, but she does not define me, nor am I her anymore.

Every single thing that has happened or not happened in my life has brought me to this day. I am who I am today because of it. Every wrong turn in life was really a right turn. I am today who I am supposed to be.

I am not perfect.

I do not wake up happy every single day of my life.

I still cry, I still struggle.

But I am me.

I am the BEST version of myself to date.

I am authentic. I am real.

What I said a year ago might not hold true. If you happen to be one of those people who liked my blog and then went back to the very first post and read it like a book, you can see my growth. You can feel that I am a different person even through the words.

I will continue to grow. I will continue to change.

As I approach my 30’s I hope to look back on my 20’s and think WOW….you learned a lot. I pray that my 30’s are easier than my 20’s. That they are not as bumpy.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails ~ Proverbs 19:21

I’m learning to love myself for who I am and not striving to be someone I am not.

This is me, asking for forgiveness from the many friends and acquaintances I knowingly or unknowingly hurt. Even if the hurt was just an unkind word. I want to live my life FREE of guilt.

I am shouting it from the rooftops. I am different today. Please forgive me.

It will come as no surprise I did not run yesterday. The days I struggle most are the days I know I need to run. I find it hard to find motivation when I feel blah. I often turn to running to fix my problems and though running can fix a multitude of issues it will leave you feeling empty if it is all that you turn to.

The heart of the discerning acquired knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out ~ Proverbs 18:15

I felt better after reading Proverbs and really thinking through the person I want to be in my 30’s. Maybe a run would have made it better, maybe not. A body, my body, needs rest – mentally and physically.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed ~ Proverbs 16:3

I used to be a bad person, but I am not anymore.

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed ~ Proverbs 11:25


  1. ChristianRunner says:

    Great post! I feel the same way about my past. Not proud of it, but so thankful to be forgiven!

  2. Lindsay @ Lindsay's List says:

    No words…this was wonderful!
    And it'll probably be sent to your spam folder. 😉 Too generic. :)

  3. It is vital for you to appreciate runners of all shapes and sizes.

  4. What's up with all these anon commenters on your blog lately? ANON – did you read her post? How does she not appreciate runners of all shapes and sizes?! Have you ever read her bio?

  5. Run with Jess says:

    This is perfect! I just love reading you. Some of your posts are so special… sometimes I think, "Is she reading my mind? It's like she's ME!" We all struggle in so many ways on the inside, and you have a unique gift for writing it down so eloquently. It's nice to know we're not alone in our inner battles. Thank you so much for this today.

  6. Lauren {sweat junkie} says:

    Great post Dorothy! Thanks for being so "real"…and never feel like you should apologize or feel bad for bringing religion into things("[I did it again. I brought religion into it.]"). It's who you are and if people don't like it or are offended then they don't have to read it!

  7. says:

    What a beautiful post. I think we all walk daily towards striving to be the best version of ourselves. Thankfully we never walk alone and God is with us every step of the way. Always remember on the not so great days that you inspire many people!

  8. Thank you for an honest, relatable post. I had that same day yesterday with my boys. I am so glad today starts new!

  9. This is an absolutely beautiful post. Thank you for sharing what I'm certain was incredibly difficult to put out there, much less put into words. I struggle with many issues of faith and what a "good person" should look like or act like, and I have to constantly remind myself to be the best person *I* can be.

    And yes, your 30s ARE better than your 20s! I can't speak from much experience since I'm only 32, but I had a definite moment of major change/realization on my 30th birthday, and it's been uphill ever since. I'll take up too much comment space if I elaborate. Life will still be bumpy at times, but you'll be better able to weather the storm :)

  10. Jessica Karazsia (@irun26at8) says:

    I seriously doubt you were ever a "bad person." We all do things we regret, but we learn and grow from those experiences. I LOVE my 30s. You hit the nail on the head when you wrote, "I'm learning to love myself for who I am and not striving to be someone I am not." This is exactly what has happened to me in my 30s.

  11. Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal says:

    Thanks Jess :) one of the wonderful things I am thankful for – going to college in a time when everyone didn't have a cell phone, digital camera, and blog 😉

  12. Thank you for this post. For some strange reason I was thinking about my past this morning on the way to work. I'm in my mid-twenties and starting to realize that I have been forgiven for the bad person I was in my early twenties so now I just need to stop dwelling on it and move forward. Your words are so inspiring and I love how you incorporate Bible verses. There are no words stronger than those from the Bible. Thank you again for this post and so many of your heart felt posts.

  13. Aimee Spencer says:

    It's @AimeeSpencer

    Your post is so authentic, I just love it.

    I'm reminded that even the Apostle Paul persecuted Christians, and held the coat(s) of those who murdered Stephen.

    Although my sins look different that Paul's … none-the-less, my sins are wretched. I literally shudder to think back. I see the value in receiving a new name (like Saul –> Damascus & filled with the Holy Spirit —> Paul). There are times I wish I could change my name as if to announce, "I'm different through Christ" or "I need my Savior every single day" etc.

    My sins have been devastating. I wish I could say the worst thing I've done was stolen an eraser in 2nd grade, but I'm not that Christian. I have BIG daily struggles. But, ah … my Savior is BIGGER. My only worth is through Christ and the graces He extends me.

    Dorothy — I'm 42, and I love it. (and still PRing.) I'm sad to say you are going to have haters. Pray for them. One day, they may understand through God. Personally, I think it is jealousy. Your ability to eloquently share, and they most certainly want what they "think" you have. This can be the distance you run, the speed you run it, weight, the courage you have through Christ, a joy of *overcoming* through Christ, your success as a friend, runner, Mom, family member, etc. It makes me very sad for them. Please don't stop being who you are. I'm praying for you! Love you posts!

  14. This is just what I needed this morning (and I am drinking Starbucks as I read it – something about their coffee must be soothing). Thank-you!

  15. "Pooh," said Christopher Robin, "Promise me you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."


  16. mollyberrieshodgepodge says:

    I just LOVE this post. I had a really rough day yesterday myself, and woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. You just pumped some joy into my heart. Thank you for your honest writing!!!

  17. emailed you.

    (hugs) i hope you have a better day today lady.

  18. This is a lot of authentically self-centered drivel. Congratulations on deeming yourself so wonderful and improved.

  19. You would never tell your daughter that she is a bad person. Don't tell yourself that you were, either! We all make bad choices, but as Christians it is our gift that we get to grow in Christ because of them. Don't berate yourself, be proud of how far you have come! You are quite the inspiration!!

  20. Florida Runner Boy aka Lee says:

    Nice post Dorothy and you'll just keep getting better & growing as a person as you approach your 30's. From a parent of 4. :)

  21. WOW! You move me! I am so thankful you are in my (even if only virtual) life. I am better because of you and your words and knowledge. Thank you so much for sharing YOU, I know I am not the only one blessed by you!!!! I hope you have a beautiful day!!

  22. Darcy- You ARE FREE! The Lord has forgiven you for your sins…now YOU just have to forgive yourself. Everyone has lied, hurt, and sinned. You're a strong woman for posting this and I am so proud of you for doing so. I hope it was freeing. You are so honest and candid…something those who post anonymously are not. My heart goes out to them for being so cowardly and angry. You are beautiful and wonderful…inside and out. Love you so much!

  23. Thank you, I needed that post. I think we need a reminder that our spirits need to be fed. We run, and try to eat well and get enough sleep for our physical bodies and I think we forget to feed our spiritual bodies. Thanks. I'm glad my sister showed me your blog.

  24. As always, I am so moved by your faith. I am so moved by your self-examination. Life is hard. It just is. And yet we live it and find our comforts and strengths. Thinking of you…and hoping today is wonderful :)

  25. Wonderful post. I suspect we all feel that way….and your words have brought perspective to my own struggles. Appreciate your honesty in sharing your inner thoughts

  26. Forgiving yourself is always the hardest part and will be a life long journey. If God wanted us to be perfect He would have ymade us that way. Instead he made us perfect versions of ourselves to learn and grow and hopefully turn our lives over to Him.

  27. SupermomE12 says:

    Free agency, making mistakes, learning from them, growing as a person, forgiving ourselves, moving on – it is tough stuff, but such an important part of life. We all make mistakes, we all have done things we aren't proud of. You did the hard thing and changed for the better, and that is what you should focus on and find joy in. :) And when it comes to faith, everyone has to find their own testimony and their own faith as you did. We are all on a journey to be the best versions of ourselves we can be, and I hope to continue that growth throughout my life. You are a wonderful and beautiful person, inside and out. Thanks for sharing. (And I don't believe for a minute that you were ever a bad person) :)

  28. It wasn't until I turned 30 that I truly started becoming the person I always wanted to be. I hope (and know) that you will find that to be true for yourself as well.

    Your 20s are tough, although I guess the same could be said for adolescence and your teen years. But in your 20s you're finding out what responsibility really is, navigating your career path, relationships (including God), etc. Your 30s are where you can take all of those things on a permanent test drive. It's not about hiding your true self any longer – it's about celebrating your best "you."

    Thank you for being so introspective today and sharing!

  29. A great post. I can assure you your 30's will be better than your 20's and as I enter my 40's (I am 39) I know that will be even better. We just have to strive to be the best person that we can be. Happy Wednesday.

  30. Beautiful post. Believe me the 30s are great but 40 is even better!

  31. I totally resonate with this post. I'm only 25 but gosh, my past (high school) I was a bad person. I did horrible, sinful things. I'm still learning to rely on God because He is the only one who can forgive me and help me move on (obviously not forget or I'd probably go back to those ways out of ignorance). If you get a chance, read "one thousand gifts" by Ann Voskamp. SO good. So good.

  32. Amazing post Dorothy! I think your honesty is so beautiful and reassuring and I know your words inspire so many people!

  33. I so struggle with this and I'm 40. I'm not good about letting go. I've done some awful things. And I realize that I have not forgiven myself so it is hard for me to realize the God has forgiven me. Thanks for posting! You are truly a beautiful person inside and out!

  34. Jay Stancil says:

    I read this early this morning when you first tweeted it and I have been thinking about it all day.

    First and foremost, you are an amazingly strong and authentic person to put yourself out there like this. Not very many people have the strength and courage to post something like this. I could see myself writing something similar but then never be able to hit the 'send' button.

    I can relate to your post 100 percent. Who I was is not who I am today and who I am today and not who I want to become. I'm a flawed person, but by the grace of God and Jesus' loving hand which guides me, I'm striving for perfection.

    Thank you for this wonderful post. It spoke volumes to me.

  35. *hugs* Dorothy, you are a wonderful person – past + present! It's amazing what we can take away from Scripture. :) May you continue to grow into the beautiful person that you are!

  36. Pemberton Family says:

    Everyone has already said it but truly this post was my favorite yet! I feel the same way about my past, I see people that I knew from high school and want to tell them "I'm not that person anymore!!" I turned 30 in February and since then I have felt so much more at peace with myself and my life. I'm learning to accept my past, learn from it but allow myself not to dwell and look forward to the future. I credit my husband and my three adorable little boys for this! Love you Dorothy! Thanks for inspiring my day.

  37. Running Backwards in High Heels says:

    Dorothy. This is another reason why I think you rock. You are real. You put real emotions out there. Things that a lot of people (myself included) are too scared to put out there. Thanks for sharing!

  38. (@Daniruns) This post left me smiling, teary eyed and amazed :) I can't even begin to explain how inspiring you are. I know you don't expect or plan for your bad days to inspire and help others, but they do every time. In fact every one of your posts is that for me. I find that even on Twitter I will see someone write something like 'Mile Posts is my favorite blogger' and I always think me too, me too! It's hard to put into words and explain why but I would say that this post is kind of a prime example. It just shows what an amazing and beautiful person you are. Today I seriously felt like I was reading a post from my own journal. Being 24, I am just now accepting some of the dumb things I did at 19,20,21 etc. I am not a mommy yet, so that part is still something I have yet to experience but I just wanted to thank you for being you and sharing all of your thoughts and feelings with us good and bad :)

  39. Thanks for such a touching post. Sometimes I feel like my heart can be so ugly at times and I feel so guilty about it. Like so many others said, your post feels like my own journal! Love reading your blog. Thanks for the inspiration to be the best person I can be today!

  40. This was a great post! Thanks for sharing what is on your heart =)

  41. Gracie (Complicated Day) says:

    That's inspiring. I never really had the "wild" phase but you are right – still a sinner! Some sins you can see ( and judge!) and some you can't. All Christains do make mistakes but I hope I'm growing more christ like.

  42. Love this post, as usual. As we've discussed the regrets we've both had about the past. But you know what, Dorothy? You were never a bad person. You've paid it forward and you never hurt anyone except yourself — and you've come along way to take care of yourself, and a family plus to make up for it. It's an honor to know you and to e-mail you and to be able to hug you when I see you at races. Keep plugging. I'm forwarding you an article I just got today that reminded me if you. BIG HUGS!!!! You're an excellent writer and despite stupid anonymous comments, the best writing is that which comes from the heart and is for the large part uncensored. You have a lot of guts and articulation to get this piece out the way you did. Love you!

  43. Ben & Michelle says:

    Honest, beautiful, uplifting, humbling…. keep them coming. Thank you for having the courage to write!

  44. myhighonlife says:

    Oh man, Dorothy. This post was just what I needed. I have been that younger version of yourself that you are referring to… and in all honesty, I still have my moments. I'm only a young 21 after all. I spent this past Sunday morning crying in disgust with myself, my actions, and the life that I choose to live. I go out with my friends, drink too much and make stupid decisions.. and it's never what I really want to do. Yet I'm afraid if I don't live like a typical college kid I will lose friends so I continue to do the same thing time and time again. I have admitted I have a problem yet I struggle with overcoming it. Like you, I turned to the Lord on Sunday. I went to church and read some passages. While it helps me feel better & I know God will forgive me, in no way do I feel forgiven by myself, my family, and my friends. I know the person I hurt the most was myself but yet I can't find a way to forgive myself for some of my actions.

    Thank you for this post. I hope to grow into the strong, admirable person that you are. I am ready to be the best me possible :)

  45. I read this last night right before I went to bed and it has been on my heart ever since. Sorry, I read your blog almost everyday but do not have the time to comment as much as I'd like (small kids- you understand) but I HAD to say something this time. First of all, you ARE a great mom. I do not know you personally but from everything I've read I KNOW you love your little ones more than anything in this world and you would do anything for them. You and your husband sacrifice so much so that you can stay home with them. Being a mom is a full time job and it is NOT easy. You are raising little people and molding who they will be in this world. That is a huge job. We all have hard days and sometimes I myself wonder how I will I ever get it all done. The laundry is NEVER ending and sometimes I feel like I live in the kitchen My 10 month-old is in the super messy eating phase. (You know, when they require a bath and a complete kitchen cleaning after EACH meal.) I constantly have to remind myself that I am doing the best I can and it's ok if the house isn't spotless. I know you hear this a lot but you are inspiring so many moms (and others) out there. I think of you many times while I'm running and my running buddies know all about you even though they've never even read your blog! I am also encouraged when you share scripture and what it means to you. God wants us to seek him and he PROMISES that all things in our lives will work out for the good when we do seek him. (Rom. 8:28)

    Thanks for sharing what is on your heart and KNOW that you are doing a great job!

  46. Dorothy you are an amazing person!! I love that you are open and honest because that is so hard to find these days! I have had and continue to fight thoughts of not feeling good enough with whatever I do. What God has been showing me through His Word (our instruction manual for life!) is that He loves me and does not hold my sins against me and that He sent His Son to save me and to make me righteous for we cannot please God with what we do in the flesh.
    John 3:16-18 NIV-For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

    2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NIV-Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 AMP-For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]

    Sorry for the long post but those scriptures helped me a lot and I hope they help you too. God loves you and I do too as a sister in Christ!!
    Have a Blessed day!! Your in my prayers!

  47. Great post! Your comments about people who claim to be Christian but do things that we may not consider "good Christian behavior" reminded of a kind of cute little saying I heard. Not sure if this applies or not, but it did in a circumstance where I felt the same way:
    "A person who attends church is no more of a Christian than a person who stands in a garage is a car."

  48. The Samsons says:

    Just catching up on my google reader! Great great post! I loved all of your verses and your raw thoughts and emotions. I agree that you are not your past and pressing forward is the only way to go, for ALL of us! xoxo

  49. Jen @ Run for Anna says:

    Wonderful post! Even at 41, I struggle with feeling worthy of being forgiven for my past mistakes. Have you heard this Tenth Avenue North Song?

    You are more than the choices that you've made
    You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
    You are more than the problems you create
    You've been remade

    So easy to forget that we are sinners, yes, and we will always make mistakes, but our Savior's mercy and love is so much bigger than all of that.

    Thank you for always putting into words so beautifully what many of us are feeling.

  50. Amanda - RunToTheFinish says:

    very well said. I am going to read everyone's comments too as I see lots of quotes.

    I often think to myself it's amazing how different i am…i don't have many friends left from my teenage years and i'm ok with that only because I'm different and I don't want anyone to expect me to be that person

  51. Jeannie Gilbert says:

    Thankyou! Honesty! I struggle many days and feels the same way. I know I am not alone but sometimes it feels like it. I yell, scream, and think why am I a mom if I am going to be so horrible. But then the moment blows over and we are happy and cuddling. I love my kids dearly but it is tough to raise multiple kids Ina huse these days.

  52. Cathryn Ramsden says:

    'I am the best version of myself to date'

    I love this. I think it's perfect.

  53. You never know how just one sentence or a few lines can be just what someone needed. Thanks for posting just what I needed to read last night

  54. I’m a few months later (just found your blog today) but this post really speaks to me (literally in tears)…Too consumed to really type but God knows exactly what we need to read, see, hear at the right time. For so long I struggled with forgiving myself for my past mistakes. Although, I knew God forgave me, I struggled with forgiving myself and moving on. From battling deep depression, feeling empty, feeling lonely, etc… I didn’t love myself because I couldn’t let go of my mistakes. I felt like I used to be a good person who turned bad. I lost ALL of my friends, every last one of them and I felt so worthless as a person. I felt I was a bad seed, poisonous because everyone I became friends with, left! Today, I still struggle with making new friends because I feel like I might do something to make them dislike me. I know in my heart God will reveal to me what I need in order to grow and move on…One thing for sure, God will provide and continues to work with me.

  55. Jennifer says:

    Wow. That blog was amazing, i had to shed a few tears because it hit home for me very hard to my heart. It feels like life is crashing g down on me for all the mistakes ive made and I am realizing what was i thinking??? I am almost 30 and i am cleaning up some 20 something year olds mess and its very frustraiting. But you have shed a light that mistakes and all makes us learn from the lessons, not defines us as a person, because i know for a fact, that is not the person i am or that i want anything to even do with anymore. So, i guess we live and then we learn, move on and grow.

  56. Great information. Lucky me I discovered your website by chance
    (stumbleupon). I have bookmarked it for later!

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