HarnessingCourage_COVERAt the age of nine, Laura Bratton was diagnosed with an eye disease and faced the difficult reality that she would become blind. Over the next ten years Laura experienced the traumatic transition of adjusting to life without sight. In Harnessing Courage,Laura shares the incredible journey of her first thirty years of life. It is a journey that has been difficult, frustrating, overwhelming, and full of courage, joy, and love. Each page of the book shares the different ways Laura experienced grit and gratitude in the face of adversity.

Laura shares how to apply grit to each difficult situation and experience gratitude moment by moment, regardless of the circumstances. Each chapter provides real life stories you can apply to your daily life as you overcome adversity with determination, perseverance, and gratefulness.

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Harnessing Courage is a touching story about the life of a remarkable young woman.  In middle-school years, Laura Bratton became aware that she was going blind.  She gives us a telling illustration not only of how she coped with her physical disability but also her growing awareness that, with courage and focus (grit) and thankfulness for love and support (gratitude), she could lead a wonderful, productive life.  She shares these deep lessons with us so that we all might grow mentally, physically and spiritually.

Every school student who has to overcome large and small obstacles in life could benefit from reading Laura Bratton’s courageous story.

Richard W. Riley
Former U. S. Secretary of Education
Former Governor of South Carolina


Laura Bratton tells the inspiring story of how her perseverance, courage, and determination, and ultimately the love and support from family and friends, helped her overcome insurmountable obstacles at the onset of vision loss at an early age. Laura’s unique life experiences, from being the first student with a visual impairment at Princeton Theological Seminary to being the first female pastor with a disability at her United Methodist Church, provide an insightful look into the important role that grit and gratitude play in leading an independent, meaningful and fulfilling life. I had the opportunity to witness Laura’s intelligence, motivation, and tenacity during her time as an undergraduate researcher in my lab at Arizona State University. Laura’s story of overcoming massive obstacles is truly an inspiration for all of us as we attempt to handle adverse experiences in our lives. Laura describes her questions and conflicts over identity, spirituality, and empowerment, and provides her perspective and lessons learned in facing these issues. Readers will be moved by Laura’s achievements, stirred by her wisdom, and prepared to harness courage during times that test our will.

Sethuraman ‘PanchPanchanathan
Executive Vice President, ASU Knowledge Enterprise; Chief Research and Innovation Officer, Arizona State University, Tempe


Laura Bratton has written a remarkable book that shows how she is so well qualified to help others overcome trauma and loss. Though the book is a story of loss, it is even more a story of courage and of how to accept the love of others, of how to be sufficient and not dependent, and of how not to complain. Laura did her graduate studies at Princeton Theological Seminary during my tenure there. She and her wonderful guide dog, Jira, enriched our lives in ways we will never forget and she taught us far more than we ever gave her. Please read her story and give thanks to God.

Iain R. Torrance
President Emeritus Princeton Theological Seminary
Pro-Chancellor, University of Aberdeen, Scotland ; Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland, Dean of the Order of the Thistle


Laura Bratton’s powerful book equips each reader to overcome life’s difficulties with grit and gratitude. She shows us how to live with meaning and purpose regardless of the challenges we face. I recommend this book to young and old alike…. It will touch your heart, mind, and soul.

Phillip Fulmer
Hall of Fame Football Coach
University of Tennessee


Laura Bratton has written an inspiring story of true grit and steadfast faith, a moving testimonial that is sure to give encouragement to anyone facing obstacles in life. I’m grateful for this book.

Will Willimon
Prof of Christian Ministry Duke Divinity School
United Methodist bishop, retired


Harnessing Courage is a remarkable story of determination, perseverance, and strength. Laura Bratton’s candid honesty will inspire readers to face adversity in their own lives with grit and gratitude. Whether it be a disability, tragedy, or affliction of any kind, the themes highlighted in this book are applicable to anyone needing encouragement. Laura is a guiding light to us all.

Bill Haas
Professional Golfer


There are no shortcuts to courage, it’s true. But, Harnessing Courage offers much hope and clarity.

Perry Tuttle
Clemson University Football Hall of Fame, First Round Draft NFL Pick
Author, Executive Leadership Coach