Craig and Elaine Bezer
In 1997 Craig and Elaine Bezer moved to Raleigh, NC. For several years they visited different churches, but couldn’t seem to find their spiritual home. While they were still searching for a church, Elaine tragically lost her father. She had been very close to him and her entire family was devastated by his death. God was with Elaine though, in her time of need. In an answer to prayer, God led her to call Living Word where she was immediately able to get in touch with Pastor Connie. Elaine was touched by Pastor Connie’s kindness, compassion, ability to listen and effective prayer. After speaking with Pastor Connie, Elaine told her husband that they needed to visit Living Word one Sunday. After a single visit, they knew without a doubt that they had finally found their spiritual home.
About six months later, Elaine underwent what she thought was a routine hysterectomy. At her one-week post operation visit, the doctor informed her that they had found cancer in a uterine tissue and sent a sample to pathology. Elaine and her husband promptly visited an oncologist who informed them that her tumor was classified at stage five. Her husband Craig said, “Ice water being poured down our backs would have felt warm in comparison to the chill that ran through us at that moment.” Elaine’s primary struggle upon receiving the diagnosis was fear for her nine year old son, Craig. She did not want to leave him behind without a mother.
During her sickness, God used Pastor Connie to come through for Elaine and minister to her in her time of need. She prayed fervently for Elaine and counseled her by reminding her of God’s healing promises and encouraging her to continually confess and believe in those promises. Pastor Connie spoke to Elaine about how vitally important the power of words are and urged Elaine not to share her diagnosis with anyone who would not stand in faith with her. The Bible says, “By Jesus’ stripes we are healed,” and Elaine did not need anyone speaking against God’s promise of healing. “When I shared this with my husband, Craig” Elaine said, “I had no idea just how hard this would be for him, because as a nurse for the past ten years, he had seen first hand the debilitating effects of cancer at its worst. He later told me it was my conviction of faith in the healing Word of God he drew strength from. Glory to God in all things!”
As Elaine pushed forward through the next six months of surgery, post operative complications and chemotherapy, she continued to stand upon God’s promises. She would frequently listen to the X-treme Faith for Healing confession CD from Living Word’s bookstore. She also kept her faith strong by reading the Word and continually confessing it out loud. “I can still remember the look on the faces of the hospital staff whenever they came into my room and would hear the Word and healing scriptures I played continuously.” The doctors and nurses at the hospital doubted Elaine’s recovery, and typically had a grim demeanor and doubting looks when they were around her, especially since she was so optimistic and firm in her belief that she would be healed. Elaine was not affected by their bleak outlook and negative attitude, and continued to stand in faith for her healing. One of the ways she drew encouragement to keep the faith during her sickness was through encouragement from people at Living Word, who were right there for Elaine supporting her through her difficult journey with many flowers, meals, prayers, calls and visits. Once again, God used Elaine’s church family to come through for her during one of the toughest times in her life.
At the end of her first week in the hospital, Elaine was ready to receive her pathology report so that she could share the news of her healing with the nurses as a witness to the healing power of God and His faithfulness. Unfortunately, it did not come back for six weeks. When Elaine received the report, it told her what she already knew. She was cancer free! The manifestation of God’s healing promise was finally complete in her body.
With the cancer finally behind her, Elaine decided to celebrate. Several years prior, Elaine’s mother-in-law gave her a diamond pendant. Elaine took that pendant and had it made into a ring, just for her. The ring was very special to Elaine and she enjoyed wearing it very much. After a week of wearing it, the Lord put it on Elaine’s heart to give the ring to pastor Connie. Elaine was torn between blessing Pastor Connie with the ring and holding onto it for just a little while longer. Her gratitude towards all that Pastor Connie had done for her outweighed Elaine’s desire to keep the ring and she gave it to Pastor Connie as the Lord instructed her to. What Elaine did not realize, is that her obedience would bring her so much more joy than keeping it ever would.
Later on, Elaine noticed that Pastor Connie was no longer wearing the ring. Elaine began to wonder if she had been wrong about giving up the ring or that perhaps Pastor Connie did not like it. About six months later, Pastor Connie asked Elaine to join her in the prayer room to pray for Susan Ramsey who had just been diagnosed with colon cancer. There, Pastor Connie told Elaine that the Lord had told her that the ring was not hers to keep and she wanted to know if Elaine would mind if she passed the ring on to Susan. Elaine was more than happy with the idea and both she and Pastor Connie came before the Lord and stood in agreement with Susan that she would be victorious in her battle against cancer. They then blessed Susan with the ring as a token of faith and victory in the living Word of God. As Susan was blessed with the ring, Elaine was blessed by Susan’s courage and faith. Susan is a continual blessing and inspiration to Elaine every time she sees her.
Susan was indeed victorious in her battle against cancer and from there, she passed on the ring to Novelette, who was battling breast cancer. Once again, Pastor Connie, Elaine and Susan met together in the prayer room to stand in agreement against cancer. Only this time Novelette was the one being prayed for and being blessed with the ring. Novelette too, was victorious in her battle against cancer and since then the “victory ring” as it is now called, has been circulated through many women of faith. The ring itself does not bring healing or victory, but rather it serves as an encouragement and reminder to the wearer that Jesus came before her and already paid the price for her healing and that victory is hers. As women of faith they are encouraged to stay strong and hold onto His Word because “By His stripes, they are healed.” It is Elaine’s joy to watch the ring be passed around to other women of faith and to watch them receive the same healing she did by standing firm upon God’s healing promises.