I am 18 years old and an university student. I have been so much into fornication that it has become too hard to leave it. I was raised by parents with high moral standards, but since I went to the university I quit attending church (though I wasn't attending often before). I have had sex with four guys since I turned 17. My current boyfriend and I have been having sex regularly, but I am determined to stop it now and retrace my steps. It has become a bother because guilt is eating me up. I feel too guilty to really accept myself anymore. Can God really forgive me? I am really focused on changing my ways. Please help me retrace my steps.
One thing that comes to light when a young person leaves home is just how much of their principles were their parents and not their own. You were taught moral principles, but you never saw them as your own code of conduct.
The first step is to build your faith because without confidence in God, you'll compromise every time a guy wants to crawl into your bed. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Attending church services helps because it focuses your mind on God and His teachings, but you also need to start studying your Bible on your own. Since fornication is a problem at the moment, I would like you to read through:
When you go through the articles, open your Bible and read the verses cited. Look at the context around the verses as well. Jot down questions that you have and let me know.
Stopping the sex isn't that hard in practice. The difficulty is in the emotions. Telling your boyfriend "no" is straight forward. Not having sex is actually effort than having sex. But those pesky emotions keep getting in the way. What you have to do is decide what is more important: God or pleasures of this world. "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4). You can't have both, so it may require some tough choices. "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell" (Matthew 5:30). If your current boyfriend doesn't want to give up sex, it may come down to doing without a boyfriend in order to serve God.
In regards to forgiveness, all sins are forgivable if a person is willing to leave her sins. See: Are You Unforgivable?
Finally, you can't leave a void in your life. Fill up your life with doing godly things. Attend church services, get involved in helping people, teach others the good news about salvation, etc. Have you life so full of good things that there is no room for doing evil.