Revisiting confessions

Guilt, shame, despair, grief. Emotions entangle and threaten to drown out hope. Haven't I been here before? Haven't I confessed these sins?

Yes, I have. And He says they're forgotten and washed white as snow. Why, then, does my heart still bleed dark red sin, spewing a history, a litany of unforgivable details onto the fresh snow of today's vista?
But are you living with guilt that doesn't belong to you? You say, "Look at what I did! I deserve to feel guilty. I knew better, but I did it anyway." So you pound yourself with guilt and condemnation. It may be guilt for recent sins or for sins of the past. What does God say about this guilt? Romans 8:1 makes a simple declaration—“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” So why the confusion? Christians live with guilt that doesn't belong to them? We live by our feelings instead of God's truth. When we feel the flood of guilt, we assume God agrees with our feelings. "I deserve to carry this guilt. Look at what I did! How terrible!" Once we have confessed our sin, God will no longer use guilt or condemnation to remind us of our past. He wants us to enter His freedom, His peace-completely free of condemnation. The familiar and much loved promise of John 3:16 is followed by this powerful declaration. Jesus said, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned." (John 3:17-18a NIV) True guilt is designed to lead us to repentance which leads us to God's peace in our hearts. So why do I Still Feel Guilty? The enemy-Satan-wants to rob you of God's peace and joy. He comes with false guilt, which feels exactly the same as true guilt from God. So how can I know if I'm feeling true guilt from God or false guilt? How do I know if I'm living with guilt that doesn't belong to me? You must use God's truth to evaluate your feelings of guilt. You must examine your heart and ask, "Have I truly repented of my sins?" You may want to write down the specific memory that is flooding you with guilt. Then put it to the truth test. Have I already confessed this sin? When did I confess it? Was I truly sincere? Have I been completely honest with God? If the answer to all these is "yes," then you can stand on the promises of 1 John 1:9 and John 8:36. If you confess your sins, He promises to forgive and cleanse you-not 2 months from now-immediately. If you have any doubt about the sincerity of your previous confession-confess it again and then instantly claim God's peace and forgiveness. (from Living Free)
Living by my feelings instead of the Truth. Wow. Does that describe the month I've had, or what! Feelings, feelings, feelings. Truth feels like an amorphous fog in a dark room. I can't grasp it. Can't ground myself with it.

I read these...John 3:16, Romans 8:1, John 8:36; I John 1:9. There is one thing I haven't done, though I've wanted to for over a year. There is one person I harmed that I could not say "I'm sorry" to. Regardless of this, I have to grip the TRUTH that I have been forgiven. I acknowledge the guilt, the shame, the despair - but I will not walk as though they rule my world. They don't. He does. And HE has set me free.

So walk free...
I can put one foot in front of the other...
Someday, I'll truly walk into His freedom.
Today, all I can say is that I'm walking down that path.

I have failed you, I have failed you
I have lost my way, lost my nerve
I’ve failed you
But I love you, how I love you
I have turned my back, left you last
but I love you
O setting sun don’t sink before I’ve found my heart
Heart don’t give up now while there’s still time
Time don’t beat your old retreat stay a little while with me
til I’ve looked the whole thing in the eye
I have waited, I have waited
for the big reveal, the even keel
I have waited
But there’s no one who makes it all come true
Just altars gathering dust while we bow to them
O night bring all your shadows and your silence
Silence make a hostage of my mind
Mind bring on your trickery
Black dogs nip on at my heels
til i’ve looked the whole thing in the eye
Swing low, sail high
All my days will rearrange to say I love you
O setting sun don’t weep for all the things you lose
morning comes as sure as it must die
dying is such mystery
yet I wonder will it be
when I’ve looked the whole thing in the eye
~Swing Low, Sail High, The Wailin' Jennys~