David didn’t have a lot of things growing up, but he had everything that mattered: a family who loved him and taught him about faith in God, love of country, right from wrong, a strong work ethic, and how to keep his head up when things got hard. Little did he know how hard things would be. Like the Biblical hero David, David Glazener would face his own giant that only faith could overcome. Armed with five smooth stones of optimism, determination, resourcefulness, a kind heart and a clear conscience, the giant of disappointment would fall.
Both Davids began working for the fathers while they were still small boys. The Biblical David tended his father’s sheep; Glazener tended his father’s grocery store. Starting in the 7th grade, Glazener was stocking shelves, sweeping up, helping customers, day in, day out, on weekends, holidays and summer vacations. “It was a formative time for me,” he said. It was there he learned these important life lessons, “Always tell the truth, be honest with people, do unto them as you would have them do unto you.”
Like the Biblical David, his hands were trained for battle. Glazener served two years honorably as a detachment commander at a radio scatter radio repeater station in Vietnam. But instead of returning from battle with the spoils of war and people singing his praises, Glazener returned a different America than he left.
Unlike the Biblical David, Glazener has only one wife, to whom he has been faithful for all of their 55 years of marriage. Soon after the wedding, he and his wife discovered the pain of infertility, which they overcame by adopting two children. “The stability that I had as a child, that my parents would always be there to love me, wrap their arms around me, and support me; and as an adult, to experience the same things from my wife… It made it possible for me to continue in spite of what was going on around me.”
Both Davids suffered the pain of families fractured by teenage rebellion. Unlike the Biblical David, the Glazeners were able, through years of prayer and the hard work of forgiveness and reconciliation, to enjoy years of restoration. The family is now closer than ever. “I never felt worried,” said David. “I was concerned, of course, but not to the extent that I was wringing my hands and wailing. I had questions, and God provided answers in His time.”
Both Davids have shepherds’ hearts, and became strong leaders in worship and civic communities. When he was in college, Glazener learned the Scripture verse that reads, “Bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 KJV). “What better way to do that than to be a counselor?” he reasoned. “I would be someone that someone could talk with.” This led to shepherding and leadership roles as a marriage and family therapist, an adolescent counselor in an addiction treatment center, and a Minister of Education.
“I always believed that something would turn up. Something would happen that would allow me to serve God. I didn’t sit at home and wait for miracles to happen. I knocked on doors, I made calls, I put my feet to my faith to believe that God would provide if I would go to do my part.”David Glazener
But through unforeseen budget cuts, reorganizations, and unspecified reasons, Glazener suffered a series of setbacks that resulted in job losses, requiring changes in vocations, locations, and marketable skills. Some of these were especially painful as they had to leave their church families and support groups. Changes like this force one to reevaluate everything, including priorities, purpose and direction. ‘We didn’t turn our back on God, we just felt like He had something else for us to do. We were still dedicated to serving,” he said.
“If life gives you lemons, make lemon pie.”David Glazener
“So what, if something doesn’t work out? There’s something else that will.”David Glazener
During the hard times, David says, “I always believed that something would turn up. Something would happen that would allow me to serve God. I didn’t sit at home and wait for miracles to happen. I knocked on doors, I made calls, I put my feet to my faith to believe that God would provide if I would go to do my part.” And provide God did! In unexpected ways, and through other people. “All through this, we had fellowship with other believers at church. When we couldn’t pay our mortgage bill, we didn’t ask for money, but someone gave $300, so we could pay our bills, and we made it through another month.”
Both Davids have amazing legacies. Glazener’s great-grandfather and father were lay ministers; David was a church minister and still serves as a deacon, his son is a military chaplain, and his grandson is heading north for a summer mission. “Being a Christian made the difference in my life. I’m so thankful that God has helped all three of my grandchildren learn of Him, and to become believers in Jesus Christ and carry on the family tradition.”
The Glazeners also have a legacy of patriotism and military service in the US Army. David served as a Second Lieutenant, his son is a Chaplain (Colonel), who married a military woman (served four years in the Army), and their daughter is in ROTC, army officer training. Glazener is a member of Vietnam Veterans of America and is the North Texas Scholarship Essay Chairman of Optimists International. “I seek to be an active member of society, and to enjoy the life that God has allowed me to experience in my 80 years.”
“Maybe that’s why my parents named me David. I always believed that my life would amount to something someday.” And it has.David Glazener
David is also a cancer survivor. Through the challenges, David found solace in “prayer, meditation, discussing things with my wife, visiting with my pastor, and the love and concern of other people at church. The concern of other people has made a difference.” And out of concern for others, he offers this advice:
“Forget the mistakes of the past and focus on the future.”David Glazener