Prayer And Advice, Please!

Hi...I could use prayer and advice. It involves my longtime Christian best friend, Esther. We met when I was 13 and she was 12, and we've been very close ever since, and I also eventually developed a close friendship with her older brother, Tim. Fast forward several years, and here we are. This past year has been hard, starting with their father passing away from brain cancer, and then Esther herself being saved from death only by a blood transfusion the week right after his death. To make a long story short, about nine months ago, Tim approached me and told me he's felt for a long time that I'm meant to be his future wife. I told him that I had felt the same about him. However, Esther strongly opposes this. She feels betrayed, saying that she feels as though I never cared about her all these years...that I only cared for Tim, and I used her to get to him. I was shocked, and even more so when my friendship with her, which I was sure nothing could shake, disintegrated. Tim and I were disappointed when we first realized her disagreement with us, but continued planning to get engaged and eventually married, and he bought an engagement ring in preparation to ask my Dad for my hand when the time was right. We even met with the Pastor of our church for counseling. Then last week, Esther and I talked and she said she will never be comfortable with this. She told me that she loves me and wants to be my friend, but I have to choose between her and Tim, and if I chose him, there will always be a barrier between us. She feels he is not right for me and that we don’t want to get married for the right reasons. Not knowing what to do, but loving both too much to choose one over the other, I told Tim I thought we should just stop talking marriage for awhile and go back to treating each other as friends, in hopes that this will eventually sort out and Esther will be able to understand/handle the idea of us getting married. I felt that the only thing to do was to choose neither of them and just step back, give it time and put them on the altar as Abraham did with his dear son Isaac. I'm not sure where to go from here, but I want to do the right thing, the thing that will most glorify God, but I'm just not sure what that is at this point, which is why I just hit the pause button. I need a miracle, please pray for one…I don't want to lose my friendship with Esther, but I also want to be with Tim. What are your thoughts?
Esther is the one who is creating barriers, and I think it is important for all to realize this. It is her decision to erect a wall and maintain that wall if you and Tim get married. Not that it makes it any easier for you, but it makes clearer some of the dynamics of what is going on here.

I don't know whether your marrying Tim is a good idea - don't know about the timing, about Tim's character, your readiness, or anything about a lot of important details. It is possible that Esther is right, that you and Tim are not right for each other. I hope that she has at least stated specifically why she thinks that is the case, so you can give her reasons due consideration. But, it is equally possible that her objections to you and Tim marrying are entirely selfish. For the purposes of this discussion, I'm going to assume Tim is an alright dude and a fine upstanding young man.

I can also understand Esther's feelings - which is not to say that I agree with the thinking behind them. I think even if Tim weren't her brother, she might be jealous of the time, attention, and intensity of your relationship with him. Of course, him being her brother adds other dimensions, such as the appearance, to her, that you were just using your friendship with her to be with him. I think it is a shame that she can't rejoice in the prospect of having you for a sister-in-law, and be happy for you and Tim in what will hopefully be a blessed marriage. It's a shame that she feels the need to form barriers, create obstacles, and force unwelcome choices. If she were a little more mature (not intended as an insult, just remembering what it was like being that age and stage of life) she would see that she is creating a no-win situation. And that means that even if you "choose her" she will not win. Your friendship with her will be based on coercion. She will have demanded a sacrifice from you and Tim. Tim will still be her brother. You will still run into each other. Ufda! Talk about seeds of resentment, bitterness, strife, and a whole lotta other things being planted in rich, black soil.

Perhaps the choice should be reformulated as: Esther can choose to have you as her friend and sister-in-law, or she can lose you as her friend, but she cannot have you as a friend at the expense of your relationship with Tim. Your choice is more complicated. If you choose Tim, you get an uncomfortable, possibly antagonistic, relationship with his sister thrown into the bargain. Maybe she eventually matures and comes around, maybe she doesn't. Tim, of course, will to some degree be caught in the middle, Esther will still be his sister and likely present at many family events.

Well, the more I look at this, the more facets I see. Easy to get all tangled up in the possibilities. I guess the first and central thing I would look at is: is Tim the right man for you? Hopefully your premarital counseling sessions have been insightful and productive. If he is the right man for you, then you should marry him in due time. You and Tim - with the help of people older and wiser - will have to decide how you will handle the situation with Esther.

Like I said, lots of facets to this issue. Haven't even looked much at how the death of her father and her own brush with death may be factoring into this. But, I like to try to tackle big issues in manageable chunks, so I'll post what I have written and see where the thread goes from here.:)
Hi there! In my opinion, your place is beside your husband, and your friend will either need to get used to it and learn to live with it, or she will turn her back on you and prove that she wasn't the caliber of friend that she should be. Stand by your husband, and your problem will work itself out one way or another. I will pray for you sister in Christ.