NEW YORK -- Like many instant celebrities, Bristol Palin found the national spotlight can shine on parts of a person's life that they would rather stay private.
As her mother, Sarah Palin, began her campaign with Sen. John McCain for vice president, news broke of Bristol's pregnancy.
Since then, life has been a whirlwind, including newfound fame on "Dancing with the Stars" and her new book, Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far.
Palin is just a few months shy of her 21st birthday. As the eldest daughter of Todd and Sarah, she grew up in wild, rugged Alaska, where fishing, hunting, and traveling by snow machine (or snow mobile) are a way of life.
Bristol excelled in sports, including basketball, track and even boys' football in middle school, where she learned how to take the hard hits, something that would come in handy later in life.
She was known as a "good girl" who made good grades and stayed out of trouble. So no one, especially her parents, suspected that their 17-year-old daughter would soon reveal to the world that even good girls can make very bad decisions.
Only Bristol's drama would be played out in front of a world-wide audience with nowhere to hide.
CBN News's Wendy Griffith recently spoke with Bristol about her book and the role God's forgiveness plays in her life. She also talked about the night she lost her virginity after drinking too many wine coolers.
Watch the interview. Read the transcript below.
BP: It was something I was ashamed of and didn't own up to until I got pregnant. Until the whole world knew I wasn't a virgin.
WG: How did your parents react when you broke the news to them?
BP: It was definitely a huge shock. Definitely a disappointment. But my family, we're so close knit. Yes, this situation is not ideal, but we're going to get through it with the help of God, and with the help of our other family members.
WG: Fast-forward four months later: You're on a national stage, your mom's announcing for vice president of the United States. And the world finds out you're pregnant. What was that like?
BP: Definitely something hard to go through. And I wrote about it in the book, that I felt like I had a big scarlet letter on the front of me. You know, "sleaze," or whatever anyone could say about me. But I'm so much stronger because of that experience.
WG: You've recommitted yourself to abstinence until you're married. Are you going to practice what you preach?
BP: Yeah, absolutely. And I don't think it will be a difficult battle because I've seen the consequences of it. And it's not worth it.
Bristol said the pain and loneliness of being a single mom and the heartache of the boy's father, Levi, not wanting to see his son, caused her to cry out to God.
BP: That night was so meaningful. And I'll remember it for the rest of my life. Because it was rock bottom. It was, okay, I'm done doing this by myself. I'm done trying to change Levi. I'm done with all this stuff. I need your help, God.
WG: You said you really felt God's forgiveness for the first time?
WG: And you wrote, 'It's a pretty good deal.'
BP: It was like beginning a new page. I finally felt forgiveness for when I'd lost my virginity several years before. And I felt forgiveness for everything.
WG: Of course, when you look at your 2 1/2 year-old son Tripp, you don't see a mistake.
BP: Oh, no, he is the biggest blessing of my life and he really is the love of my life.
WG: After all you've been through, why risk putting it all out there, the intimate details of your life, in a book?
BP: I have the opportunities and a voice that other people don't have. And owning up to all my mistakes and decisions in this book, I know that other people are going to read that, and hopefully it's going to be motivation and a story of redemption for them.
Last year, Bristol got the chance to be a contestant on the ABC's "Dancing With The Stars!" Many, including her dad were against the idea.
BP: None of my family wanted me to do it, they know I'm not a really that outgoing, and I don't dance. So they said, Are you sure you really want to do this?'
WG: The night you debuted... you came out in this gray suit, wearing an American flag pin, very conservative, but you showed the world that you can shimmy!
BP: (laughs) Well, thank you.
WG: What did that do for your confidence?
BP: I feel like people tried to break me down during that experience. But that just gave me the fire in my gut to do better.
WG: You mean that people who were actually there competing with you were not friendly to you?
BP: Well, I think at first they saw me as, 'Oh, here's Bristol Palin. She's not that well known and she's not really in this Hollywood scene.' And so they didn't see me as competition. But as we progressed, I think they got a little bit upset.
WG: Michelle Obama just came out and thanked the media for being kind to her children. How can you explain the viciousness of the media against you and your family.
BP: I don't think I can pinpoint it or explain it. It's definitely biased. You know there's some rude people out there, but we have tough skin and we know what's right.
WG: You said God has ways of surprising you by pushing you further than you think you can go. Is that what happened?
BG: Yeah, absolutely. With so many different examples -- with football, with Tripp, with DWTS - God has given me the strength to push through it.