Todd Beezley lived a lonely childhood. He was born with brittle bone disease and spent much of his young life in the hospital. He broke 70 bones at various times and had 28 hospital stays. The disease eventually caused deformities in his small frame.
Todd couldn’t spend his school years with other children. Instead, a tutor came to his house from 1st grade through 6th grade. Then from 7th through 11th grade, Todd got the help of his fellow classmates.
Says Todd, “I had a two-way telephone system between my house and the school. Classmates would carry this little cow bell speaker/microphone from classroom to classroom and plug it into the telephone jacks there so I could hear what was going on in class.”
Todd’s life took a dark turn during one of his lonely hospital stays.
“I had overheard the doctor telling my mom on the eve of a surgery in Milwaukee back in 1959 that they didn’t know if they could save my leg,” Todd recalls. “He thought that I was out of earshot when he told my mom that in the hallway, but I could hear it.”
Todd was devastated. That is when another patient told him that he had the answer to Todd’s dilemma.
“A 13-year-old child in the bed next to me said, ‘Everything will be OK with your leg if you just join my club.’ I said, ‘What club is that?’ He said, ‘The devil’s club, but you’ve got to understand, once you’ve joined, there’s no way out. And you can never tell anyone.’ “
Todd’s Christian upbringing had not prepared him for this-but he desperately wanted to save his leg.
“I agreed to join. That night it felt like I had sold my soul, I had lost it forever. The internal pain, the agony of that moment, was just horrendous,” Todd reveals.
Amazingly, his leg began to heal.
“The bone six weeks later had grown in straighter and stronger in my left leg than in my lower right leg, which had never broken,” he explains.
As years passed and his guilt grew, Todd desperately searched for a way out of his vow.
“I even took time to look into the Bible at that point, but all I could see there was ‘woe unto you hypocrites,’ ” Todd says. “I thought God hated me. Every Sunday I would be dragged into the presence of an angry God with cold feet and cold hands.”
So Todd rejected his Christian upbringing.
“I ran as far away from God as I could possibly get once I got out on my own. I wanted to put Him out of my mind and enjoy my life on earth while I was here because I figured I was headed for hell, so I might as well enjoy what time I had,” he says. “That’s why I got off into the drugs and got into other sinful things and just ran from God.”
But in retrospect, Todd says God did not give up on him.
“He kept pursuing me,” Todd says. “I went through eight auto accidents in three years without a scratch. Then a tornado went 10 feet over my car when I was in Jackson, Tenn. That was the most scared moment of my life.”
Todd’s near-death experiences pushed him to search once again for God, the same God that he had fled from.
“I didn’t know where to find him,” Todd admits. “I had been gone from Him for so long.”
In other areas, life moved forward for Todd. He married a wonderful, kind-hearted woman named Sherry. With Todd’s talented voice, he excelled in a radio career.
“Part of that job responsibility as morning announcer was also production director, which meant I recorded the commercials and religious programming for Sunday morning. There was a pastor who came to record one of his sermons, and he asked after our recording session, ‘Have you ever accepted Christ as your Savior?’ ” Todd remembers.
Todd had never shared his dark, satanic secret with anyone. But that day, Todd confided everything to this pastor.
“He showed me from Scripture over coffee that the devil is a liar and the father of lies and that Jesus still loved me, that I still had hope and I could be saved,” says Todd. “It was like throwing a rope to a drowning man, so I reached out and I accepted the Lord as my Savior.”
Todd says that by making that decision for Christ, a great weight was lifted off of his shoulders.
“I was able to go tell my wife what I had been involved in. I was able to go tell my parents, my mom and my dad,” he says.
Years later Todd and Sherry had a son named Joshua. Todd was devastated when he found out his newborn son also had brittle bone disease, so Todd and Sherry began to pray for healing. To date, Joshua, at age 10, has never broken a single bone.
Says Todd, “I’m delighted that God healed him. I knew all the pain that I went through as a child with broken bones. For him to be spared, that’s the most merciful thing that I could ever imagine or ask for.”
Today Todd encourages everyone to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
“Jesus came to set us free from sin and give us hope, no matter what we’ve been involved in,” he explains. “I don’t care if you’ve sold your soul to Satan. I don’t care how far into the depths of the occult you’ve sunk, if you are a witch or whatever. There’s hope for you. Jesus loves you, and He can set you free. He did it for me. He can do it for you, too.”
By Gorman Woodfin