When eighteen-year- old Victoria dies in the ICU and encounters an angel that gives her aprophetic mandate from God, her insatiable quest for spiritual enlightenment begins. As compelling as any contemporary novel, this dramatic and inspiring true story is a roller-coaster ride through supernatural experience, denominational enlightenment, and a teenage marriage that not only survives the loss of a child but thrives through unbeatable odds.
Shining a fresh light on the theology of a Jewish Jesus, the author deftly weaves the history of the Christian faith from its genesis of the first century to the present-day Greco-Roman Christianityall the while giving us an up close and personal glimpse of an extraordinary life.
A devoted wife, mother of six, and grandmother of nineteen, Victoria refuses to succumb to age and limitations. Far from Just a Little Girl , Victoria Sarvadi’s unconventional journey from teenage motherhood to Hebraic scholar and teacher will captivate and consume you from start to finish.
About the Author
Dr. Victoria Sarvadi received her Th.M. and Th.D. in 2005 from the former Center for the Study of Biblical Research in Glendora, California, accredited at the time by the University of the State of California. A certified minister in the Hebraic Christian Global Community since 2000, she is a frequent contributor to Restore! Magazine, a publication of the HCGC. She has been a speaker for conferences, congregations, women’s ministry groups, Bible studies, and at the Vision for Israel Sukkot Conferences in Jerusalem, Israel. As a featured guest on national and international radio and television programs, her appearances on both the Crossover Program and Brad TV have been seen worldwide.
Her Precious Gems teachings on the Jewish roots of Christianity have appeared in numerous publications and will soon be available online at VictoriaSarvadi.com. She has six children, nineteen grandchildren, and is married to Paul Sarvadi, Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Insperity, Inc., a world leader in business and human resources services based in Kingwood, Texas. As co-founders of the Nathaniel Foundation, the Sarvadis philanthropic contributions support numerous charities in the U.S. and abroad. All proceeds from Just a Little Girl will fund the Nathaniel Foundation.
Read an Excerpt
Going Through the Grid
Peretz: One who breaks through or stands in the gap – Messiah
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Hebrews 1:14 KJV
There is little doubt in my mind God has a plan for our life; He will even send angels if necessary. I know this because He sent one to me.
The doctor was concerned throughout my second pregnancy, particularly about my weight.
"Victoria, you must gain more weight. Are you eating?"
"Yes, I'm eating, but I'm just not very hungry with this baby, not like I was with Michelle."
Our three-year-old daughter Michelle (Shannon Michelle on her Birth Certificate) was in perfect health and anxious to meet her sibling. We had been "playing baby" with one of her dolls to prepare her.
The week before I was due, I became unbelievably sick.
Keeping up with an active toddler on the best of days is no easy task; it's almost impossible when you're not feeling well. I couldn't keep any food down, not even the wonderful Romanian delicacies Paul's visiting grandmother made for us. I was incredibly weak and tired all the time, and my sleep was often filled with unsettling dreams. One dream in particular that week was strange and haunting. It would be the first of many prophetic dreams I would have over the course of my life.
I dreamed I sat in a beautiful stream with crystal-clear rippling water in the middle of a dense forest, and I was about to give birth to a son. Without pain, my precious little one arrived quickly. However, when I tried to reach for him, I felt like I was moving in slow motion, almost as though I was paralyzed. Before I could take him in my arms, he was caught up in the swift current, and I watched in horror and anguish as he flowed down the stream, over the rocks and around the bend until he was out of sight.
"No!" I shouted helplessly, frozen and unable to move. Just before he disappeared, I noticed he wasn't crying and that he had brown spots all over his body, similar to freckles.
When I woke up, I immediately shook off the strange sense of foreboding that often follows a bad dream. Everything was going to be fine, I told myself. Our family was growing, and I knew God had a special plan and purpose for this child.
Some people can clearly identify a specific time in their lives when they know they had a life-changing God encounter — a spiritual epiphany. I never thought I would be one of those people, because for as long as I could remember, I was encountering God. I always knew who He was. I was raised in a Christian family and God was always a part of our lives ... Well, at least once a week. My husband was raised in a "good Catholic home," and he revered God with faithful formality. Neither of us ever doubted God's existence.
However, as we prepared for the birth of our second child, we were both about to have spiritual epiphanies and meet a very different God than the one we thought we knew.
Paul always accompanied me to my doctor's appointments, and I was particularly glad on February 10th, because I didn't have the energy to go alone. This flu bug (or whatever it was) had completely sapped my strength, and I secretly hoped my doctor would admit me to the OB-GYN floor and put me on bed rest until this baby came, or maybe change his mind and conduct the C-section he initially postponed to give our baby more time to grow.
I remember climbing up on the examination table, so glad to be off my feet, and the next thing I knew I was laying on a hospital bed with Paul holding my hand. He was repeating, "Honey, please wake up, please wake up ..." Our pastor was standing to Paul's right and a strange woman — a nurse perhaps — was sitting at the end of my bed crying.
I sat up and squeezed Paul's hand, but for some reason, he wasn't acknowledging me. Then, our pastor started to recite the 23rd Psalm: "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death ..." (KJV)
Who was dying? Me?
I couldn't figure out what was going on, and because no one seemed to be listening to what I was trying to say I got frustrated and decided to lie back down.
That is how I recall it, but I was told later that isn't exactly what happened.
Actually, when the doctor entered the exam room at his office on that dreary February day, I was barely conscious on the examination table, unable to even raise my head. He took one look at me and immediately picked up the phone to call the hospital.
"This is Dr. Holt. I have an emergency admit coming in STAT."
When I arrived at the nearby Spring Branch Community Hospital, I was dehydrated, jaundiced and comatose within a few hours. Two days later when my labor finally started, they say I groaned, but I never woke up.
With the help of general anesthesia and a Caesarean section, our tiny baby boy was born.
I remember none of this.
As resourceful and optimistic as he was, Paul had been on autopilot as I remained unresponsive and doctors were unable to diagnose why. When I went into labor, things quickly went from bad to worse. The obstetrician eventually came out to the waiting room to report on the serious situation going on in the delivery room.
"Mr. Sarvadi, your son has been born, but he is struggling to breathe. Our neo-natal team is doing everything they can."
"A son ..." Paul said quietly. "How is Victoria?"
"We're waiting for her to wake up from anesthesia. That young lady is a fighter, let's pray your boy is, too."
Paul left his Catholic roots when we got married, but he automatically prayed the formal "Our Father" after the doctor left the waiting room. However, it was a far less traditional prayer that followed.
Please God, let my son live, and please take care of my wife.
Our baby fought hard, but about an hour later, he gently passed from this world into the loving arms of his Heavenly Father. The nurse let Paul hold our son for a few minutes before they took him away and Paul later said the combination of love and grief he felt were unlike anything he had ever experienced. Paul's father George was also able to hold his grandson for a few precious moments, and although my dad looked at our baby and said good-bye, he couldn't bring himself to hold him.
Paul didn't know how he would break the news to me when I woke up, but he believed with every fiber of his being I would wake up. No matter how bad things looked.
Countdown to Crisis
Ten hours after our newborn son entered Heaven, it appeared I was not far behind him. That's when the doctors decided it was critical to transfer me to the Houston Medical Center for life support.
"We've exhausted all of our efforts, Mr. Sarvadi," one of the doctors told Paul. "Your wife is still not conscious and new symptoms are manifesting rapidly. Her liver and kidneys are beginning to fail. We've given her five units of platelets but her blood still isn't coagulating. Your wife's case is exceptional — beyond anything we are able to handle."
They were going to transport me to Methodist Hospital, one of the many jewels in the crown that made up the renowned Houston Medical Center, with the hope the specialists there could determine why my health was deteriorating.
Our pastor came to Spring Branch Hospital to pray as we were waiting for the ambulance to arrive, and I learned later his recitation of the 23 Psalm left Paul unsettled. He wasn't ready to entertain the idea I might not make it.
When we discussed this particular time later, Paul assures me his desperate pleas of, "Honey, please wake up, please wake up ..." were consistently met with unresponsive silence, although I distinctly recall sitting up in bed and trying to grasp Paul's hand. I know I heard the pastor praying, and I could swear I was aware of everything going on around me.
When they loaded me into the ambulance, I thought the doctors appeared tense. Fear was apparent on their faces. I assumed they were taking me somewhere with an expert neo-natal department to prepare for my child's birth.
I just wished someone would explain things a little more, instead of acting like I wasn't even there.
Hang on, little one, we'll be there soon, I said silently to my baby as the vehicle began to move. I patted my bulging belly, certain I felt the baby gently kick.
A Miraculous Change of Heart
The special circumstances allowed for Paul to ride shotgun in the ambulance during my transport — a forty-five-minute harrowing drive for my young husband. The traffic in Houston was awful, and the roads were rife with detours, potholes and bottlenecks. The frustrated ambulance driver screamed obscenities at other drivers as he made his way to the Med Center.
Paul says he was thankful I was completely unaware of what was happening, but that wasn't the case for him, and knowing the truth was killing him — and changing him.
There was nothing too difficult for Paul Sarvadi to tackle, nothing he couldn't solve, nothing he could fear. Wise beyond his twenty-one years, he was a hard-working and honest young man who deeply loved his family. Raised in a Catholic home by parents of integrity and virtue, Paul was taught great family values and responsibility, and was encouraged to excel in school.
What he wasn't taught was how to approach the God of the Universe by way of His own promise of Messiah Yeshua. He didn't really know God. Not personally, not relationally. But God knew him, and He was using all the pain and uncertainty Paul was feeling to change my husband's heart.
This crisis sent him to a place of faith he had never been before.
As the ambulance made its way through the frenetic labyrinth of traffic, praying seemed to be the only thing Paul could do. He says he thought about the events of that morning — our son's birth — and death. He thought about me lying unresponsive on the gurney behind him — oblivious to what was happening — about how unfair he had been to me these past few months as he was caught up in the trappings of his entrepreneurial endeavors. He thought about our young daughter waiting in anticipation at home, and about the plans he would have to make to bury our son. His mind was overwhelmed and his heart heavy. Strangely enough, he wasn't angry at God. In fact, Paul says for the first time, he was actually open to God's divine plan as it dawned on him this wasn't something he could fix on his own — and that was okay — because it wasn't for him to fix. Keeping me alive was God's responsibility — and God could do it.
It took this crisis for him to see no amount of self-discipline, self-motivation or self-confidence was going to miraculously heal me or bring back our son. Only God could do that, if He willed — and the convicting power of this Holy Spirit wisdom caused Paul's heart to change.
Years later he said, "I had become so vested in our Amway business, and financial success had become so important, I lost sight of what really mattered. It took the loss of our baby and the possibility of losing my wife to open my eyes."
As he repented for his self-righteousness, he confessed only Jesus was righteous, and he needed a relationship with Him, even if I didn't pull through.
Paul told me later that almost immediately he felt a warm blanket of forgiveness and love fall upon him, giving him comfort and reassurance of God's faithfulness.
It was then the ears of his heart opened, and he heard the still small Voice of the Spirit speak directly to him. "Have no fear. No matter what the doctors say, no matter how dire the report may be, Victoria is going to live. I have a plan for her — and you."
Paul will tell you to this day that he couldn't explain it, he couldn't quite understand it, but in that harrowing ambulance ride, God gave him a sublime gift of faith and a heartfelt peace he had never known.
While my husband sat up front praying fervently, and while God was transforming his heart and spirit, I could swear I lifted my head up to see what was going on around me. A young paramedic with brown hair steadied what appeared to be IV bags and checked my vital signs. I'd never been at this vantage point in an ambulance, and I marveled at the interesting equipment all around me. The colors were vivid — bright orange in a sea of stark white and the fluorescent light above me cast a blueish shade on the crisp white sheet that covered me. I saw everything going on around me. I remember how bumpy the ride was, and praying the jarring wouldn't hurt my baby.
Suddenly, the vehicle came to an abrupt stop as the doors swung open. Bright light surrounded me as two young men roughly pulled the gurney from the back of the ambulance. As they released the collapsed legs to full position and swiftly wheeled me into the hospital, I felt myself slipping off the stretcher and spinning as if I were inside a kaleidoscope.
"Be careful," I wanted to shout. I prayed they wouldn't drop me. Thankfully, Paul suddenly showed up by my side.
I knew he wouldn't let anything happen to me.
Once we got inside, things started to happen quickly as they transferred me from the stretcher to a hospital bed and began to systematically connect me to various technical instruments, tubes and monitors. I was still upset no one spoke directly to me — what was it about bedside manner they didn't get?
After an initial examination, I saw one of the doctors walk over to Paul, who stood at the back of the room. I couldn't make out everything he said, but I heard his last sentence, and it made me angry.
"It doesn't look good. You should call your family, if she makes it through the night it will be a miracle."
How thoughtless to say something negative like that within earshot of a patient!
That's when I felt the bed moving again. They were taking me somewhere — very quickly — and when Paul bent down to kiss me on the forehead, I tried to scream.
"Don't let them take me, Paul! They don't have me positioned right on this bed — and they're moving way too fast — the baby and I are going to fall off ... I can feel us falling ..."
I had felt an unsteady floating sensation from the moment they pulled me from the ambulance, as though the gurney was not level or I was hanging off of it somehow. Now, as they hurried me into yet another room with even harsher lights, the fear became reality as the security of the bed vanished, and I felt myself fall — and die.
Suddenly, the equipment around me made loud beeping sounds to alert the hospital staff something was wrong.
"Code Blue, ICU, Code Blue, ICU."
In his book 90 Minutes in Heaven, Don Piper recalls what it was like when he found himself standing in heaven after dying on the road in a horrific traffic accident.
It wasn't like that for me. I didn't have any sense of myself standing on firm celestial ground when I died, only a profound sense of falling head-first into a void of space and time, with ever-increasing velocity. Like falling off the roof of a very tall building.
I felt like I was free-falling very fast through what I can only describe as a grid of time measurement. A blueprint-like scale of grid lines and I instinctively knew this timeline was personal and uniquely mine. It was my own universe, a divine future plan of time and space calculations — a place I shouldn't be moving through at such a warped speed. It was at that point I realized I was dying. The term, "Life is passing you by," suddenly had new meaning to me, as I felt the sensation of literally passing through my grid of life considerably faster than human time.
Yet, I was unafraid.
What I vividly recall as I fell through my lifetime grid was the awareness of an incredible amount of knowledge available to me at various points along the way. All of this knowledge was like treasure to me, treasure troves of information and keys to hidden secrets that reminded me of gems or golden bars. They glistened and shone and were so beautiful. I knew these treasure boxes contained the mysteries of God's Word, gifts of prophecy, teaching, knowledge and wonderful experiences involving people I loved — and God. I knew these gifts were specifically and irrevocably mine. I wanted these treasures. In fact, I felt like they were rightfully mine — after all, this was my life I was passing through! But I had to leave them all behind as my hastened journey through time would not allow me to acquire — experience — any of these gifts.
Suddenly, the space through which I was soaring tunneled and narrowed and when I could go no further I stopped falling — like being stuck in the tip of a funnel. Then, I felt an immediate release from my physical body — like I was being delivered out of myself. I literally felt my life force — my spirit — leave my body.
In this newly birthed "spirit self," I retained all of my mental faculties. I could see, remember and reason. I could feel emotions, and I still had all my memories and my personality. Yet there was a euphoric realization that I felt no pain — I was somehow disconnected from that earthly burden. I felt wonderful freedom, no longer restricted to the limitations of my human body.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Just a Little Girl"
Copyright © 2017 Victoria Sarvadi.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements and Thanks xiii
Prologue Homecoming 1
Chapter 1 Going Through the Grid 14
Chapter 2 Proving Him Wrong 26
Chapter 3 God-in-the-Box 35
Chapter 4 I'm Not Your Father 44
Chapter 5 Becoming a Mother 55
Chapter 6 Talk to the Hand 64
Chapter 7 Lifting the Fog 76
Chapter 8 Transformed Hearts 94
Chapter 9 A Teachable Spirit 102
Chapter 10 Crossroads 115
Chapter 11 Chapel in the Forest 125
Chapter 12 Crossover 138
Chapter 13 Traveling a Very Public Road 146
Chapter 14 The Nest Begins to Empty 155
Chapter 15 Up the Ladder 160
Chapter 16 The Roots Support You 164
Chapter 17 Eastgate 171
Chapter 18 A Gathering Place 177
Chapter 19 A Hectic Hot Mess 188
Chapter 20 Difficult Decisions 195
Chapter 21 Menopause Monster 202
Chapter 22 Pressure Cooker Peril 210
Chapter 23 Internal Combustion 224
Chapter 24 Season of Surrender 234
Chapter 25 Gifts of the Grid 240
Chapter 26 Following the Rabbi 247
Chapter 27 An Agenda of Love - What I Learned from My Children 254
Epilogue Home is Where the Heart Is 261
About the Author 275
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Just A Little Girl by Victoria Sarvadi is an incredibly inspiring book. Not only does the author share her amazing life journey, successes, and challenging times, but also she imparts wisdom and knowledge about Yeshua and the Jewish foundation of Christianity. Her life story, the “passionate pursuit” of the Jewish Jesus—Yeshua—begins as a teenage mother with her death on an ICU bed when a powerful messenger (Peretz—Messiah) reveals to her the grid of time and space for the rest of her life—God’s plan for her future. As she returns to life, God’s instruction for her is to access the gifts of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, already gifted to her. Her intriguing life story, in itself, is reason enough to read the book but there is so much more. She imparts the discoveries and knowledge that she has acquired concerning the Jewish roots of Christianity; enlightenment about Christian denominations; and Hebrew language, culture, and religious traditions. There is so much important information to revisit and study again. In addition, the Endnotes contain a wealth of references, websites, and scriptures that can be explored by those who desire to delve deeper. I cannot recommend enough this book that I received through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
Beautifully written, spiritual memoir that grabs your attention quickly. I would recommend this well written book to everyone. I recieved this wonderful book from the BookClub Network and author for an honest review.
Just a Little Girl by Victoria Sarvadi is quite an inspiring memoir. The author shares her spiritual journey from childhood to the present and makes the reader feel as if she is just sharing with a friend across the kitchen table. Even as a teenager she felt God's love in a transformational way and knew she needed people around her who were motivated by the Spirit of God to offer counsel and direction. In a near death experience, Victoria meets her guardian angel and begins to realize God has a plan for her life. Through financial highs and lows, physical health and illness, and a monumentally stressed life, the author shares how God molded her theological beliefs and continued to strengthen her belief in Yeshua. As she and her husband worshiped in and learned from different denominations she truly was just a little girl who was ready to let God use her. This is a compelling story of a woman who knew God had called her to seek Him, receive His truth and teach it and that is what she did. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Book Club network. A favorable review was not required and opinions are my own.
Just a Little Girls is an honest, autobiography about Victoria Sarvadi’s winding journey of life from the moment she had to grown up too soon to the present, centered grandmother of 19 grandchildren. It’s told from the heart and captivates you from the very start. I felt like I was actually on the journey with her watching from afar willing her to push forward. Victoria is candid about her struggles in parenting, balancing life demands and following her true love…Jesus! Half way through I thought I knew the ending, but I’m so glad I read to the last page as I learned so much from her journey. Woven throughout her story is her love of discovery about the Jewish roots of Jesus. She shared just enough of her knowledge to inspire me to dig deeper into these roots and I feel confident that her story will inspire others to take this leap of discovery as well. I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
This is a very powerful book. I loved reading about Victoria’s journey and what a journey it is. I appreciate she can now see how God used everything, even the painful stuff, for good. Her story is a Genesis 5020 story. What I also loved what that even after she met her angel she didn’t have an immediate transformation. God still had more work to do in her heart. Her and her husband wanted more they just didn’t know how to get there. They would have success then failure, success then failure. Victoria’s perspective of speaking in tongues was one I could relate to. She didn’t want anything “weird” to happen with Jesus but she wanted more. I remember thinking speaking in tongues was for “those” Christians but not for me. But God placed a hunger in me and opened me up to all that the Holy Spirit could do. Victoria was at that point and her heart changed toward things of the Spirit and it wasn’t so weird anymore. I LOVED this sentence she wrote on page 112: “But the question is not how much of the Holy Spirit do you have but rather how much of you have you allowed to be governed by His Spirit?” That is good stuff and such a great question. Some many good things I could talk about in this book but I don’t want to go on and on. This is a non-fiction book that I highly recommend. A copy of this book was given to me though The Book Club Network, Inc. All opinions are my own.
Just a Little Girl was a very interesting read. I loved the autobiographical style of the book – I felt like I was living life as a neighbor of Victoria and her family. She was very real in the book, letting me see her struggles and her spiritual journey. Not everyone’s journey is fast and not every journey goes from Point A to Point B in a linear line. I enjoyed the candidness of the book and enjoyed getting to know her much better through her testimony. I received this book for free from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are mine.
“Just a Little Girl” is the true story of Victoria Sarvadi who was pronounced clinically dead at the age of 18. She tells her life story and how she encountered an angel early in life and how that helped to shape her faith later in life. She goes through the highs and lows of her life. This book was easy to read and interesting. "I was given the book by Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and here is my honest review."