Growing up in Pakistan I got very used to having someone watch out for me. It was not really culturally appropriate for me to go out alone as a young girl and usually, whenever I went to the market, either my dad or my brothers would be my “body guards” and it made me feel completely at ease. I trusted them and felt loved and safe. It never bothered me to take one of my brothers with me, I enjoyed their company and it was nice to know I could rely on them. Moving to Germany ten years ago I knew in my head that things would be different – I knew that I didn’t really need anyone to go with me anymore and I would be ok on my own. But I found that I did miss my dad and brothers sometimes. Knowing someone’s got my back. In our time of feminism and gender equality I sometimes got strange responses from guy friends if I asked them to be my “body guard” for an occasion and step in the place of dad, brother or husband. Some would be happy to oblige, others thought it weird and told me to just look out for myself instead of “relying on a man”. It was funny because being single didn’t bother me that much – not having “brothers” did. But then I also realised something – in the end, no matter where I am, I am never alone because God is with me. I experienced that a lot of times over the years – in Pakistan, in Thailand, in Germany, Spain, Mexico – God is with me. Jesus stands behind me and says “Don’t worry, I got your back.” And even if it is nice to sometimes have someone with me on a journey, I know that I am also totally ok on my own. Now, living in Pakistan again, this topic is once more on my mind. When I first arrived my dad and little brother were still in the country, but we weren’t always together and two months ago they moved back to Germany. I am slowly getting used to moving around by myself. Driving on my own. Doing grocery shopping on my own. It is different…but I realise it is also part of growing up. Moving around on my own would never have bothered me in Germany and is something I have to learn here in Pakistan. Thankfully, I am not really alone. Once again it is true that God is with me always, here too.

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