Saturday, February 28, 2009


thank you for visiting my blog and seeing my beautiful boy!

there was a comment on my last blog entry about how amazing and strong i am to have such clarity about this heart-wrenching event. she said i was a wonderful blessing and witness to God's love.

i am deeply humbled by your words. thank you, stacy. if you were in my thoughts 24/7, you would bear witness to the fact that i don't always, and quite often, do not have clarity about losing matthew.

God and i have had knock-down drag-outs about this. why Lord, why me? why did you choose us to carry this burden? i've had to carry a lot of crap for you in my life, but Lord, this is the hardest. this may actually break me!! and gently the Lord said to me, that's the point. come, cortney, you are weary and burdened. i will give you rest. my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

in the dark days immediately following matthew's death and then again when we returned to greece, i had words for God that went something like david's...

psalm 13

how long, o Lord? will you forget me forever?
how long will you hide your face from me?
how long must i wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
how long will my enemy triumph over me?
look on me and answer, o Lord my God.
give light to my eyes, or i will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, "i have overcome her,"
and my foes will rejoice when i fall.
but i trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
i will sing to the Lord
for he has been good to me.

i would say this over and over. but i could not bring myself to say the last part. i could not say to Him i trusted in his unfailing love. because i felt like he did fail me. he didn't save my little boy.

matthew's life had and still has purpose. god chose him to live on earth for 5 days. matthew phillip schwalbe made an impact that will resonate far longer than 5 short days. i am sure of this.

life on earth is in the journey. and the journey follows a path in a broken world. terrible, heart-wrenching things happen. mommies do not get to cradle and kiss their baby boys. daddies do not get to see their sons smile back at them for the first time. baby boys do not get to learn how to crawl, walk, or fly. but thankfully, we have been given a gift, should we choose to accept it, to live beyond this life in eternity.

in heaven we are perfect. it is perfect. because He is perfect.

right now on this earth, we can only imagine what it will be like...

in the coming weeks i am going to go back to the day matthew phillip was born and tell his story, our story. i'm going to tell you what i've learned, what i struggle with, and about my journey these last 54 days...

i would be humbled and deeply grateful if you'll come back and read...

with love,

Thursday, February 26, 2009

meet matthew phillip

matthew phillip schwalbe on january 7, 2009, his second day of life on this earth.

i've debated on whether or not to share the only picture of our son with you, dear friends and complete strangers. but what i decided is that...

i need you to know our son.

i need you to see how beautiful he was.
i need you to realize that he is now perfect. he is healed. because he is with jesus.
yesterday i was contemplating what i was going to be giving up for lent this year. i'm not catholic, but i do like giving up 1 thing each year so i can be reminded of what christ has done for me. but i'll be honest, i would complain about giving up that 1 thing much of the lent period. or i would fall off the wagon. but i definitely didn't spend enough time really thinking about what christ has done for me.

i took suggestions from my friend. chocolate? no, not much of a sacrifice for me. i don't crave it much (i know, i'm weird like that!) caffeine? sodas? no, not if i want to continue being employed. my boss probably wouldn't take too kindly to me sleeping on my desk every day. :)

the first day of lent came and went and no sacrifice was identified.

then today, i clearly heard from God...

you have sacrificed your son.

now you can really understand the deep hurt and anguish i felt when i had to sacrifice my Son, Jesus, for you.

now you know just how much i love you.

so my "sacrifice" this year, is to truly, truly meditate on how much God loves me. so much so that He gave up his only Son for me. above and beyond my bible study homework, i want to spend some time reflecting on this truth.

do you know how much Jesus loves you?

john 3:16
for god SO loved the world, that He gave his ONE and ONLY Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Monday, February 16, 2009

37 days after...

this is my attempt at breaking the blog silence. it's been 37 days since our precious son left this world and entered heaven. it seems like many months ago. and yet it feels like yesterday. our hearts hurt so much. but we have moments where we can picture him in the loving arms of Jesus and we can smile. it's hard to embrace the reality that heaven is a much better place when you long for your baby boy to be with you here on earth. one day when we're reunited with matthew phillip, we'll finally understand.

being in austin was a comfort. i'm still looking for that comfort being back here in greece. we returned and we both went back to work on feb. 2. the first week was very, very difficult seeing friends and people around base for the first time. many of our exchanges with people included a hug and a "i'm so sorry...i don't know what to say," and a struggle to fight back tears.

my emotions are a mix of anger, sadness, confusion, jealousy, and even hope and joy. we are having some very honest conversations with God and rely on the truth of His word for comfort and strength. my anger was so intense when i returned i could not pray. but thankfully i have words again. some days i feel like everyone has moved on and forgotten. though i can't imagine "moving on," i will have to come to a place of acceptance. now that we have to carry this burden, Lord give us the strength to do so. and on really bad days we have to ask God to carry it for us.

thank you to all of our family and friends for everything you have done for us; cooking meals here in greece, coming to austin to be with us for the funeral, donating to the march of dimes in matthew's memory, and sending us cards, goodies, and emails letting us know you're praying for us and you love us. all of these actions have encouraged us so much and mean more to us than we'll ever be able to express.