Different is good and your version gets a woohoo! from me. I like the color. Thanks for persevering, I know these are starting to get longer as they grow in complexity. Like you said, thats the beauty of saving the XCF and being able to come back to it later.
On a side note, if I were to add something to a GIMP wish list, I would wish that when you save an XCF file it would also save the history and alow you to go back a few steps and change something if you want. Is there a setting for that somewhere? In Preferences maybe or am I just wishing?
That's not very likely to be implemented, as the undo history can take a fair bit of memory, so saving it on the xcf files would probably make them way too large...