Episode 1: Domestic Abuse (Mallory)
Mallory thought she had met her soulmate, but as time passed and life happened, he became verbally and physically abusive. In this episode, she details how the story unfolded, the changes she noticed in herself, and how this nightmare ended.
Episode 2: Christian Pride (Andrew)
Andrew, who identifies as both gay and Christian, reflects on his childhood and how he reached a point in his life where he had to choose whether to continue living the lie that was weighing on his heart or reveal his truth. He talks about how he learned the meaning and history of Pride and addresses the concerns some people may have about his faith.
Episode 3: Parenting Children with Special Needs (Kate)
Kate and her husband Joe have 5 kids – 3 biological and 2 adopted. Their adopted children also have severe disabilities. Kate reflects on the joys and challenges their family faces and shares why she thinks other people should consider adopting children with special needs as well.
Episode 4: Fertility Struggles (Eliska)
Eliska and her husband tried desperately to have a child. They got pregnant quickly, but suffered a miscarriage early in the pregnancy. Eliska shares her 6-year struggle to have a baby and what her family looks like now.
Episode 5: Single Parenthood (Kenita)
Kenita struggled as a single parent of two boys who was working two jobs and trying to get a degree, but she was determined not to become a statistic. Hear her story and how she turned her struggle into a blessing for other single parents.
Episode 6: Athletic Burnout (Jase)
Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka have been in the news lately after taking a break to focus on their mental health. Jase, an elite long-distance runner, discusses his experience with burnout when he suffered a mysterious illness that led him down a path of self-doubt and destroyed his Olympic dreams, which led to burnout. He questioned the sport for which he had spent so much of his life training, but in the process he discovered the need for recovery and a deeper purpose for continuing in the sport.
Episode 7: Proud U.S. Marine and Veteran (Daryll)
Daryll became a U.S. Marine at the age of 20. After the 9/11 attacks, he was called to active duty and sent to Iraq. Though he wasn’t on the front lines, he still suffers from PTSD and depression almost 20 years later. Listen as he discusses his experience in the military and the effects, both good and bad, that it had on his life.
Episode 8: Abortion (Ashley)
With the possibility of changes to abortion law, abortion rights is not as black and white as it may seem in the news. Ashley and her husband have struggled to have children. When they stopped trying, it finally happened, but their joy was cut short by a decision they felt they had to make during her pregnancy. She discusses the “gray area” of abortion and openly shares her personal experience of having an abortion at 20 weeks pregnant and the grief she and her husband experience today.
Episode 9: Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome (Tim)
Tim, host of the Focused on Forward podcast, was surprised to find out that his daughter’s leg pain was the result of Guillain-Barré syndrome. He talks about what it is like as a parent to watch your child suffer and not be able to do anything about it. He also discusses his family’s new normal and how they are learning to cope with the trauma they experienced.
Episode 10: Health Scare Turned Nightmare (INOJ)
Ayanna Portee, also known as singer/songwriter INOJ, had Billboard-charting songs in the late 90s. During her career, she has worked with the likes of Dallas Austin, Lil’ Jon, and SoSoDef to produce hits, including her covers of “Love You Down” and “Time After Time.” However, her career would be stalled abruptly when she decided to undergo a surgery that left her unable to speak. Hear her story, how she worked her way back into the industry, and her plans for the future on the U Talk, I’ll Listen Season 2 Finale.