For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Godly sorrow. I've experienced that. I know that many of you have. It is not regret, but a genuine pain that rips through your heart causing tears to stream down your face. It comes from realizing the sins of your past.
Often people ask for forgiveness but they are far from sorry for their actions. To some, they have become only words generated to pacify someone else...not really an emotion that is felt. Only a true repentance will be accepted by the King. He knows your heart.
For many years, I carried the anguish of this day (which occurred over 30 years ago) with me in silence. Only a handful of people knew the event and it was never spoken about. I did what, at that time, I thought I had to do. I believed there was no other choice. Regret? Certainly. Remorse? Absolutely. Do I still carry the scar? Yes. Not so much now, simply because I have forgiven myself...more importantly because God has forgiven me. Our actions always have consequences whether immediate or delayed - there is always going to be someone to answer to, someone who will hold us accountable for them. What we get away with in this life we will be called to account for in the next. That is why it is so important to confess to God the nature of our sins (and yes, I know that he knows them) and be truly sorry for them...sorry for the act, not sorry for the consequence! It's very easy to get confused on that issue. True repentance comes from being sorry for the action.
Take a moment today and ask for his forgiveness for that sin that you have been hiding from the rest of the world. The one that you feel sets you apart from others, the one that you feel there is really no forgiveness for. Let down your guard and open your heart to the healer of all things - Jesus! Let him ease your pain as he reminds you that your sin has been paid for. Let him hold you close as he wispers in your ear that you are loved in spite of your sin. Let him bring you the peace that no one else can. Let him in!