By Christie Pierce
To save or to spend? We’re faced with that question in a hundred different ways each day.
I used to be an obsessive spender. At twenty-four years old, my grandparents gave me ten thousand dollars. I went out and bought Gucci shoes and silk dresses and I don’t even remember what else. The money was gone within weeks. I had a zero balance in my savings account until I was twenty-nine because I was always spending.
My compulsion to have what I wanted, NOW, cashed into other areas of my life too. If I wanted to feel good (or escape), I drank. If I wanted to be skinny, I took laxatives, or barely ate. And if I wanted affection, I hung out with guys who would dote on me, or hooked up, or had sex.
I was a cover model, who drove a new black Jetta and shopped at Saks Fifth Avenue, but my “pretty” life was really messed up. One afternoon in my therapist’s office, he looked me in the face and asked me, “Do you know what your problem is Christie?”
“No,” I shot back sarcastically. “Enlighten me Ed. I’d love to know.”
“Your problem is immediate gratification. When you want something, you seek an instant fix. And it’s hurting you.”
I was mad when I left Ed’s office that day, but obviously what he said made a huge impression, because I still remember it as I sit here now, drinking my caramel latte, writing to you.
He was right. My habit of going after an instant fix each time I craved something was taking the life out of me, little by little. The girl I saw in the mirror when I looked into my own eyes was becoming more and more unrecognizable. I had to get her back, but I didn’t know how….until late one night, alone in my bed for the first time in a long time. As I laid there in the silence of the night, and let the lonely stillness settle in on me, I heard a quiet, familiar voice whisper a question to my broken heart. And the answer to this question saved my life.
“What is it that you really want Christie?”
Almost instantly I started to cry. “I want to be loved. I want a family. I want someone who won’t leave.”
And then in a moment of Divinely appointed clarity, I realized that all the things I’d been doing had been getting me further and further away from what I really wanted. So, I made a decision. I would try a different approach. I would become a saver, a delayed gratification kind of girl—who waited and saved for what was best, instead of going broke for the immediate fix. And since I wanted a man who would commit his life to me—and having sex hadn’t made any of my relationships work—part of that choice was that I was going to save sex, until I was with my husband. It was hard learning how to save.
Instead of drinking, I cried. Instead of sex, I cried. Instead of barely eating, I cried. The tears stung, and the sobs ached. But you know what….my broken heart began to heal, and when I looked in the mirror, I began to smile at the girl I saw looking back. Each day that I saved instead of spending, I gained a piece of the girl I was created to be. Four years later, I bought a beautiful dress and spent hours getting ready for the hottest date of my life—my wedding! Waiting for me at the altar was a man with hazel eyes and a strong heart, who had also made the choice to be a saver. And when we woke up the next morning, still a bit sleepy from a night of champagne and dancing, we were both nothing but smiles.
Together as women, instead of spending our hearts on counterfeit romance, we can become part of a tribe that empowers us to save up for the best. Recently, our friend, Caitlin Crosby, launched Save the Pillow, a soulful community that of girls and women that are holding themselves to a higher standard, not because of rules, but because they believe they deserve true respect and real love.
Whether you’ve been broken by bad choices or perfectionism, or are simply on the journey as a saver and in need of some encouragement, the truth is: you really are worth the wait.
Christie is a professional speaker, educator, and youth mentor. She has recently served as the Director of a sexual integrity education program in Los Angeles, California. Christie’s past includes a ten year stint in the modeling industry. While she worked to have the “perfect look” in magazines, Christie’s life was plagued by sexual immorality, abortion, alcoholism, drug-abuse, and self-harm. It is Christie’s privilege, passion, and calling to share her story of transformation in Jesus Christ with others and to point them Him as the one and only Savior, and the Healer and Lover of our souls. Christie, her husband Will, and two children Christian and Isla, live in Santa Monica.