If there is a God, He’s not very involved. That was Daniel Goulet’s view. Growing up in a home with an alcoholic father who resented his mother’s faith, Daniel felt empty. It seemed there was no practical application to having faith in God. By the time he went off to college, he was experimenting with ways to fill the void.

“I went wild, partying, smoking, and doing drugs. That’s when the internet was becoming accessible and I stumbled upon things like pornography; that became an addiction.”

Daniel was trying to figure out who he was. To others, he seemed like a success. He was the first person in his extended family to go to college and he was succeeding academically. But at the same time, something felt off.  It felt wrong. No amount of partying, drugs, or porn could ease the ache he felt inside.  He knew he was spiraling.

“That’s when the porn addiction started, and then it just kind of grew until I was spending an hour or two a day. I felt guilty, and I would try to stop. Inside, there was always something saying ‘This is not who you are.’”

During this time some good friends began inviting Daniel to church. He had visited churches before, but never felt a connection. This time was different. During worship, God moved in Daniel’s life.

“It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I felt something, and it was peace. All that void and ache would go away when I was in worship.”

For a time, Daniel lived a dual life – partying during the week, and experiencing peace during church on Sunday. He was still looking at pornography, but afterwards he would feel empty. The struggle became so painful, he began considering suicide. Then one day, he had an encounter with God.

“I was sitting in an office, getting ready to look at pornography. I was in a desperate place. I heard this voice in my head. The voice said, ‘You know where this road leads. You know it’s going to feel empty. You’re going to feel shame and guilt. If you get up right now, I’m going to give you the power to never look at this stuff again.’ I knew that I didn’t want this to be my life. I knew I needed something, and I believed that voice was God’s. So I got up, I walked out, and that was the last time I looked at porn.”

That dramatic encounter was over 14 years ago, and it was just the beginning of Daniel’s journey and transformation.

Today, Daniel is a pastor who gets to help others find freedom in Jesus. Hear Daniel’s inspiring story in Chapter 15 of Epic.

Daniel Goulet – Pornography, addiction, and emptiness