This Man Was Determined to Survive the Cancer That Took His Father's Life
“My heart was ripped out. I couldn’t believe that he was taken away at such a young age from us,” he said.
Steven Torres and his dad loved to have fun. They often played cards, kickball, and hide and seek together. Sadly, those good times came to an abrupt end when Steven’s dad died. “Unfortunately, God took him at the age of 38 due to cancer. It felt like we were losing everything.”
Steven grew up in church, and begged God for an answer about why his dad died. He felt he never got one, and thought God had abandoned him. “I think my logic was, ‘I’m pushing You away. I’m going to do this on my terms.’”
From his teen years through college, he lived for the next party. “I was going to hang out with my friends or my fraternity brothers or the drinking, and the numerous relationships with females. I felt like I was on top of the world. Even though I had all these people, all these associations, all these girls, I felt alone.”
After college, he married and divorced. He often felt compelled to pray, but was determined to ignore the urge. “I think I didn’t want to face the answer to why God did what He had to do to take my father away at such a young age. I was, I think, afraid to hear that there was some type of purpose or something good of it because at the time I didn’t feel that there was – ‘there was no good reason why You took my dad away.’”
At age 37, something happened that shook his world. “They found a tumor, lump, you know, and that it was cancerous. It was, ironically, almost the same age as my father, and that was like the red flag that came into my life and I was very scared. I reached out to God and said, ‘Please, don’t do this right now. I don’t want my kids to grow up without a father.’”
Steven went through treatments for cancer, and the tumors shrunk. Once the cancer was gone, he stopped praying. “I felt like God didn’t answer me the first time. I felt like ‘this is all my doing. I’ve got this under control. Got my treatment, follow what the doctor says do.’ Again with my logic, ‘it’s going to be on my terms.’”
The cancer returned four months later. Steven was confident he could beat it.
“I didn’t have much fear you know. It ended up going for another six months of treatment, radiation and chemo. They said they had gotten everything.”
After a few months, the cancer returned yet again. By now, Steven was tired, and scared. The cancer had metastasized to his stomach, and was becoming more aggressive. “I was like ‘This can’t be’; overwhelming. I started bawling, crying, very upset,” he said.
Steven saw on Facebook that a girl he knew from the 4th grade, Shawn, had posted scripture.
“I started to read and edit and within an hour, edit I started to feel very at ease and comfortable and peaceful. And it was almost like a light switch went off in me that. That void, that thing that I was missing was always there all along, and that it was God. He had been reaching out, talking to me and trying to get my attention.”
A few days later, Shawn sent Steven an encouraging message. “‘God’s going to take that cancer and He’s going to crumble it up like a piece of paper and throw it away into the dumpster.’”
The next Sunday, Steven made a decision. For the first time in years, he attended church. “I remember the pastor praying. As he was praying and talking, it wasn’t his voice I was hearing. To me, I felt like it was God speaking. I knew then that everything I had in my heart and soul was all to God.”
Three days later, Steven heard the best news of his life. “They had done some blood work. There was nothing, nothing in my body. And I start crying like a little kid, knowing that, ‘wow, He took that out of me.’”
Since 2010, the cancer has not returned. Steven started spending time reading the Bible and learning who God really is. His friendship with Shawn also developed and eventually, they married. These days, Steven has a completely different outlook on life.
“I think the Steven Torres where I didn’t need God. The Steven Torres now knows that you grow more with God in your life,”
Through prayer and scripture, he finally found peace with God about his father’s death. “What can’t be provided to you here by your earthly parent, by your earthly father, He will provide to you if you believe. That’s all He wants is to have that relationship with you,” he said.