Sometimes women feel a tremendous load of grief for past sins, and they can confuse this with guilt. There is a big difference between the two. Let’s say you married someone that you knew you should not have, you were warned about it, but you did it anyway. Then a few weeks or months into the marriage you saw first-hand that you had done the wrong thing and you confessed the sin to God and received His pardon for the sin. But ten years later you are still married and you continue to feel guilty over this. I believe that what you are feeling is not guilt, but grief. And as long as you continue to treat the grief like guilt, you will not be able to get relief.
Perhaps you had an abortion twenty years ago and you still feel horrible guilt about it. Have you confessed the sin to God? If you have, then you can have assurance that He has forgiven you, and He forgave you back when you first asked Him to. But now you feel grief, and grief doesn’t go away by confessing a sin that is already confessed and forgiven. God doesn’t remember your abortion. He has forgiven that with all your other sins and He doesn’t want to hear about it any more.
So what do you do? You receive the assurance of His forgiveness by believing what He says is true. You can thank Him for His forgiveness. Now you can begin to deal with your grief and regret. These things do not require forgiveness, they require comfort. Ask God to comfort you. Then walk in forgiveness. You are a new creature in Christ. Live in gratitude. Do not dwell on the sins. God doesn’t, so why should you? When you feel the regret and grief well up inside again, ask God to comfort and strengthen you. Ask for more faith. But do not ask for forgiveness for that old sin that God has forgotten.
Comfort comes over time when we ask God to heal us. We have to leave the wounds alone, which means no picking at them, no taking off the bandages to look at it, no wasting time with the never-ending “what if” questions. These delay the process of healing and prolong the grief.
If you’ve married the wrong man, and you have confessed it to God, then look up. Don’t waste your marriage thinking about how you messed up. Rather think about what you can to do make it all better. Trust God and move forward. And don’t confuse grief with guilt anymore.