Monday, May 13, 2013

HAPPY COUPLE HIGHLIGHT: Candace and Erika



Candace Hardnett and Erika Majors 
Savannah, Georgia

How long have you been togetherCandace: We have been together as a couple since Dec. 21st 2007. However, we have been best friends since 2005.

How did you get together/meet?  Candace: We met at an affirming church of which we were both members at the time in San Diego, CA. We went through ministry training together at that church and were accountability partners and best friends.

What is an accountability partner?  Erika: We were accountable to each other spiritually. We kept each other accountable in our walk with Christ, in our decision making and in our ministries. We were vulnerable with each other and always had the others best interest at heart.

What was the initial attraction? Erika: There was no particular initial attraction; it was a two-year friendship that blossomed into an attraction. Our relationship has been based on the love that I had for her already through our friendship. Plus, it didn’t hurt that she was cute.
Candace: My initial attraction was her love for God and her commitment to ministry. As my best friend she helped to shape me as a Christian. She was always honest, sincere, and fun. She was also intriguing.

What made her intriguing: Candace: At first Erika was a really big mentor for me. When I met her, I was really green in the ministry and had not been to church since I was in elementary school. Erika was a huge factor in me learning about Christ. Erika: What I found most intriguing was her journey back to Christ and her dedication to learning about Christ and her calling. When she came back to church she hadn’t picked up the Bible for many years, but in a few months, she read and understood the Bible like a theologian.  Now she’s my pastor.

What would you say is the key to the success of your relationship? Candace: The key to the success of our relationship is that we are both firmly rooted in our faith and we lean on someone bigger than
ourselves when things become rough.  Erika: We have made a commitment to stay together, through good and bad, thick and thin. We both believe in building one another and growing together. We are committed to love.

How do you support/solidify your commitment? Erika: I realize that Candace is a gift to me from God, one that I should, and do cherish. She is perfectly given to me, even though she is not perfect. I often remind myself that she is my gift and that whatever I do to her, I do those same things to myself. By respecting Candace as my gift I am ultimately respecting myself. Candace: We understand that we are in it for the long haul and we don’t make breaking up an option. Giving up on us is not an option.
  
Discuss how you deal with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship? Erika: We deal with challenges through open communication and a commitment to come to a resolution. Candace: We try to be great listeners. We practice active listening, repeating to one another what we have heard the other say and trying to understand each other’s feelings in order to come to a resolution.

Every relationship has unspoken and spoken rules. What are some of your relationship rules that support your union? Erika: When we have differences, we stop the behavior and move to resolution. An unspoken rule-we give each other space when we need it. We don’t force each other to talk; we respect each other in heated times. Candace: When there is a purchasing decision, we wait 24 hours before purchasing. If you still want if after 24 hours, you get it. That way there is little impulsive buying. I learned that from Erika. Erika: We stay in our lane. We know our strengths and our weaknesses. For example, she is better at dishes so she washes the dishes. I am better at deep cleaning and so I do the rest of the cleaning. We know our strengths and it prevents us for getting on each other’s nervesJ.

What role does spirituality play in your relationship? Candace: A huge role. Our relationship is centered on our spirituality, it always has been. Even as friends we were spiritually connected, and it has carried forth through our relationship.

How do you nurture that part of your relationship? Erika: I can’t really describe our spiritual connection. It is much deeper than just praying and reading the Bible together. We feel each other. My spirit is so connected to Candace that I can feel her spirit and I can tell what’s going on with her even when I am not around.

What role does sensuality play in your relationship? Candace: Equally, sensuality plays a huge role.
Continuing to learn one another and to grow means growth in all areas. As humans we are sensual creatures that evolve, grow, and thrive through healthy interaction. Erika: For me sensuality is very important. A healthy sex life with Candace garners the foundation for the bonds that are established in our relationship.

For you, what is the difference between sensuality and sexuality: Candace: Sensuality expands further than sexuality. You can express sex with any willing partner. Sensuality is experienced when you are connected on every human level – spiritual and emotional. Physical connection is almost secondary.

How do you keep your sexual lives alive: Candace: It has a lot to do with communication. We discuss our individual needs and seek to satisfy one another. We take the opportunity to learn one another’s likes and dislikes and are always willing to try new things. Erika: We really have learned to speak each other’s love language and that is what makes us feel more sexual. When we feel loved and appreciated it makes loving more enjoyable and keeps our sex life from getting stale.

What is your love language and how does she speak it fluently? Erika: Words of Affirmation. Right now, Candace purposely practices giving me words of affirmation.  She tells me face to face, she puts messages on face book, post-it notes, text messages, etc. Every day I look forward to hearing what she will say next. Candace: Touch is my primary love language. She’s excellent at cuddling even when she is tired.  We are usually busy during the day but we get an opportunity to slow down at night. She knows my love language and she will hold me no matter the time.

What has your relationship taught you most about yourself? Erika: That who I thought I was, I wasn’t. I had a list of requirements for a partner, but as I grow in this relationship, and grow within myself, a lot of that stuff doesn’t mean as much as it did.

For example: One of my mottos used to be reciprocity – Bring to the table what you want from the table, and then we can have a feast.  I learned that reciprocity has nothing to do with love. Love is an action; it is a commitment. What I thought was required, reciprocity, wasn’t. I realized that love trumps all. I used to say that my partner had to give me this or I have to have that, etc. I don’t feel that way anymore because it’s my duty to love Candace regardless.

Candace: I have learned the value of relationships. Relationships should not be disposable, when you enter them they should be built to last and endure. Prior to this relationship I had not sought value, but rather the quick and easy. I’ve learned that a valuable relationship takes time.

Why time: Because you don’t really know the value of something until it has endured. It is like a car. If it is built to last, it may be old but it will still run. A relationship is going to take time; time to prove that it will last through the tests of time. Just like a classic car if something is broken, you don’t throw it all away. You fix that component and get back on the road.

What do you most admire about her? Erika: I admire her intellect. I call her sponge brain because she
soaks up everything. She is also tenacious. When she sets her mind to achieve something, she doesn’t stop until it is done, attained and complete. She also does everything with excellence because she knows that she serves an excellent God. Even if she does something at the last moment, I can trust that it will be excellent. Candace:  She is down to earth. She can “read” somebody without making someone feel bad. She will leave them feeling convicted but not degraded. She’s genuine and has a good heart and she is always willing to help others. She is also able to take my flaws and turn them into something good. I admire her for being able to put up with me. She trusts and respects me, and never discourages me.

If you could thank her for one thing, what would that be? Erika: I would thank her for loving me. Sometime ago she told me that she hasn’t loved anybody as much as she loved me since her grandmother. Her grandmother was her everything – her mother, father, friend, teacher, pastor, etc. I am honored to sit in the same place with her grandmother – I don’t take that lightly. Candace: If I could thank her for one thing, I would say thank you for trusting me enough to be with me. She has trusted me to be her accountability partner, her friend and her partner regardless of what anybody said. She trusted and trusts me enough to be her pastor and that says a lot. When she met me, I was a hot mess. But she trusted me and I thank her for that.

What one word describes or characterizes your love: Erika: Love! God is love and God was in the beginning and center of our relationship; God is the foundation of our relationship. It is the God in us that lifts each other up. Candace: Indescribable. There are really no words to truly express our love. It has surpassed that of ordinary and has exceeded far beyond to simply indescribable. I love our connection and could not imagine life without her.

What advice would you give to other couples?
We would advise other couples to remember that love is not a feeling, it is an action. It is a commitment, it is a challenge, it’s not going to always be easy but it is definitely worth it.

You can also find Candace and Erika at:
 Our business: www.meandhcgonline.com

We thank you for sharing your love with us at Create Love! Your story will encourage, inspire and uplift other couples.  We wish you continued success and happiness. www.createloveforwomen.com

Create Love for Women Who Love Women - Founders
Imani Evans & SharRon Jamison

2 comments:

  1. What beautiful words expressed and shared between these two women...putting God first in their lives has opened their relationship to extraordinary blessings and possibilities, protecting them from outside influences. And through their faithful journey, they've learned to walk in and through their union together hand in hand, with a love that leaps beyond the ordinary...I send them continued blessings that they will lovingly, faithfully stand together always!!!

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