Who is a God like to you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retains not his anger for ever, because he delights in mercy. (Micah 7:18)
There is no one who can match the compassion and power that is God! Every sin we commit is wiped away - gone. He doesn't hold it in his pocket and throw it out at us the next time we sin and he doesn't throw it in our face and offer it to us a proof of a failure. It is gone, as though it never happened. Forgiven!
We hold onto our own sins, we relive the nightmare over and over again. We continually cry out "if I'd only done this" or "if I'd not done that". We beat ourselves up with the mistakes of our past. Everything we have been and done makes us who we are - it brings us to our knees in the presence of the one, true God! He's forgiven us, now it's time to forgive ourselves.
The hardest part of accepting the forgiveness of God is to realize that we must also forgive ourselves. The saying "what's done is done" is a grim reminder that our lives have been a so full of irreverent actions and bad decisions that we can't see our way clear of them. We are constantly reminded of our failures (by society, by our family, by our friends) and sometimes we lack the courage (and the faith) to actually believe that God has forgiven us! We are afraid to move forward. We stand trapped in our past as if it could be fixed by revisiting it in our minds.
Nothing can change our past. We can't wish for God to turn back the clock and relive the events and do them differently. We only get one shot at life! The good news is, we don't have to go back and "fix" the wrongs - God has forgiven them through Jesus! The Holy Spirit will guide us as we continue on - and we will look back, we will regret (no matter what we tell others) - it is human nature. Everything we have experienced in our lives brings us to the foot of the cross.
Take the "regrets" and turn them into praises to the Father! Let them be a reminder of where we've been and a warning to where we no longer want to go. Take a deep breath and thank him for bringing you through it, praise him for his forgiveness, honor him by "turning over a new leaf". Keep his love for you where you can feel it at all times. Don't hesitate to cry out to him when you feel alone or frightened that you may be tempted to repeat those same sins. His love for us is forever and always and it always starts right now! Allow the Holy Spirit to take your hand and lead you ~ God's promises are for today!